SBD/June 24, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Several Members Of NBA Draft Class Poised To Break Out In Corporate America

Irving's personality could make him an attractive pitchman to sponsors
The NBA welcomed its latest rookie class Thursday night at the NBA Draft, and while critics have said this batch of draftees may not be as strong as other classes on the court, there are some that have the potential to make their mark in the endorsement world. Lothery & Associates’ Karlyn Lothery said Kyrie Irving, who the Cavaliers picked with the No. 1 overall selection, “has enormous endorsement potential.” Irving’s personality, sense of humor and “solid vocabulary make him easy to put in a variety of themes.” Lothery notes he has a “clean-cut look and sound that is music to the marketing directors’ ears.” She said, “I could definitely see a great spot for him to tease ‘SportsCenter.’” The T’Wolves used the No. 2 pick on Derrick Williams, and Lothery notes the Univ. of Arizona product “has mastered the country-boy humble.” Lothery: “He would be able to work the country charm into a non-profit spokesman role, or a major product line.” Some of the international draftees also show potential. Turkey’s Enes Kanter has a personality that Lothery said “resembles that of Charles Barkley,” while if Lithuania’s Jonas Valanciunas “works on his English, he definitely has the personality to sell.” On the flip side, there are some draftees that need to do some work. Lothery notes Bobcats draftee Kemba Walker is “prone to one-word or short-phrased responses, so the idea that someone could write a commercial script for him that would open him up is a stretch at first glance.”
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