SBD/January 28, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Love Me Do: T'Wolves F Spoofs Fragrance Ads In All-Star Game Campaign

The T'Wolves Thursday "in a bid to sweeten" F Kevin Love's chances of being selected as a reserve to the NBA All-Star Game unveiled a marketing campaign that "spoofs the theatrical and exotic TV commercials advertising men's and women's colognes," according to Ray Richardson of the ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS. Love as part of the campaign is "offering a gift-pack sample of his newly created 'NUMB#RS' fragrance." The package also includes lotion and a video, as well as a "brochure of Love's numerous accomplishments this season." T'Wolves marketing officials were "proactive" in putting together the package, "even sending one to TNT's NBA studio staff of Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley." Richardson notes coaches will vote on the reserves for the game, and they "must submit their votes on Monday." The reserves will be announced next Thursday night (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 1/28). In Minneapolis, Jerry Zgoda noted the video "features Love, dressed in black with a contrasting scarf wrapped around his neck, contemplatively walking down a lit runway with adoring fans ... clamoring silently in the background." The "only sound is some moody piano music and Love's voiceover at the end that says, 'Who has the numbers? You tell me'" (STARTRIBUNE.com, 1/27). CBSSPORTS.com's Ben Golliver writes the video is "self-aware and tongue-in-cheek, a must for a self-promotion ad of this nature." Love "comes off as funny and personable." The spot also "pushes a link to 612allstar.com, a site that references Minneapolis's area code and further expounds on Love's All-Star credentials" (CBSSPORTS.com, 1/28).

UP TO OLD TRICKS: The AP's Jon Krawczynski notes the T'Wolves in recent years have "come up with some of the most creative and funny ideas to promote their players." The team "sent GPS machines to coaches two years ago as part of former center Al Jefferson's 'road map to Phoenix' for the All-Star Game," and they also "put together an infomercial on Love's 'Miracle Glass Cleaner' as they pushed to get Love the rookie of the year award" in '09 (AP, 1/28).

LOVIN' THEM SOME LOVE: The STAR TRIBUNE's Zgoda notes Love "has been everywhere on the Internet and cable networks ... after he became the first NBA player since 1982 to reach 30 points and 30 rebounds" during a game against the Knicks in November. A four-man camera crew shooting for NBA TV "shadowed Love on consecutive days two weeks ago for the network's '24 Hours' program, an around-the-clock look at life with an NBA star leading to game night." The episode will air Tuesday. Part of Love's "national appeal is his willingness and availability to do radio and TV interviews." He also "writes a regular blog for GQ magazine," has made cameo appearances on HBO's "Entourage" and the Disney Channel's "The Suite Life on Deck," and he has "boarded the ESPN recreational vehicle for two of that network's NBA commercials." Love said of the appearances, "It's good for the Timberwolves, it's good for the league, it's good for me. I'd be lying to you if I didn't say some of it wasn't in my self-interest. It's definitely building a brand for me" (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE, 1/28).
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