SBD/June 21, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Gillette Shaves Beard Off Conn Smythe Winner Tim Thomas For Charity

Bruins G Tim Thomas yesterday “allowed Gillette to trim his facial foliage in exchange for a donation to a charity of his choice,” according to Taryn Luna of the BOSTON GLOBE. Gillette Communications Dir Mike Norton said that the company “will give $25,000 to New England youth sports charities to be named later.” Thomas, the Conn Smythe Award winner and a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's best goaltender, has no product endorsement deals with Gillette. Barber Arthur Mirzakan, after clipping the beard down to stubble, applied “shaving cream to Thomas’s face and pulled out a black and yellow Gillette Fusion ProGlide razor, which was specially made for the occasion.” Thomas joins a list of athletes Gillette has shaved for charity. Former Red Sox CF Johnny Damon in May '04 “was cropped for a $25,000 donation to children’s literacy,” while Red Sox 3B Kevin Youkilis “shaved his goatee with a Gillette razor following the World Series win in November 2007.” Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger after the ‘06 Super Bowl win also was shaved on CBS' “The Late Show" for an unspecified charity payment (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/21).

HAIR OR NO HAIR, THAT IS THE QUESTION: In Boston, Brendan Lynch cites a new "study" by the Elias Sports Bureau, and commissioned by Philips Norelco as part of a "tongue-in-cheek campaign," that “finds a trio of Major Leaguers play better baseball when they’re clean shaven.” Red Sox P Jonathan Papelbon endorses Philips Norelco’s SensoTouch 3D in the campaign, and his “first commercial for the company pits him against Yankees outfielder Nick Swisher with the players arguing about whether to use the product dry or in the shower.” As part of the campaign, Elias “conducted a study of the performance of three pro baseball players who have played with and without facial hair" -- Swisher, Damon and Yankees P Freddy Garcia. Philips Norelco Marketing Dir Eric Smith said that the company “chose the players to take advantage of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry” (BOSTON HERALD, 6/21).
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