SBD/September 7, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Alex Ovechkin Signs Six-Year On-Ice Endorsement Deal With Bauer

Ovechkin's Bauer deal covers skates, sticks, gloves, helmets, pads

Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin has signed a long-term global endorsement deal with Bauer. The deal covers on-ice equipment -- including skates, sticks, gloves, helmets and pads -- and follows last week's announcement of a deal in which Nike locked up Ovechkin for base layer and other apparel rights. He had been under contract to CCM for hockey equipment. IMG Managing Dir, Senior VP & Head of Global Consulting David Abrutyn, who handles Ovechkin's marketing, could not be reached for comment. Bauer is the latest in a series of deals Ovechkin has signed since aligning with IMG in November '09. He has added Gillette, Verizon, Capital One, and Cadbury/Kraft Foods for its Mr. Big candy bar (Terry Lefton, THE DAILY). YAHOO SPORTS’ Greg Wyshynski noted Bauer “isn’t showing its hand on whether the marketing approach with the Washington Capitals captain will have floating-head-inside-the-locker whimsy" like CCM's efforts with Ovechkin. Bauer President & CEO Kevin Davis said, “We’re going to evaluate that with Alex as we go forward. We’re going to do something that’s authentic, true to the sport and true to the athlete.” Asked if Ovechkin could wear a Bauer hat during an NHL press conference, since the league has an official deal with Reebok, Davis said, "If Alex would like to put on a Bauer hat, I’m sure he’s welcome to. He’s welcome to put on a Nike one as well.” He added that there “are different rules for different press conferences for the NHL” (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 9/6).

MOSCOW'S HOMETOWN HERO: CSNWASHINGTON.com's Chuck Gormley noted when Ovechkin’s contract with CCM expired, Bauer "jumped at the opportunity to sign Ovechkin to a six-year partnership, which will carry through the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.” Davis: “Russia and that area of the world is a great growth opportunity for us, especially leading up to the 2014. What we know is that hockey is as iconic to that country as it is in some of our biggest markets.” Bauer and Ovechkin “have agreed to donate 108 sets of equipment to the Dynamo Hockey School in Ovechkin’s hometown of Moscow," as well as to the Kettler Capitals Iceplex and the Potomac Valley Amateur Hockey Association in DC (CSNWASHINGTON.com, 9/6).

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