SBD/September 28, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Cam Newton Said To Become Charlotte's Most Notable Athlete

Newton already has sponsorship deals with Under Armour and GMC
Panthers QB Cam Newton “could soon rival, or even eclipse, the late Dale Earnhardt as Charlotte’s most enduring sports icon,” according to Erik Spanberg of the CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL. Newton has "electrified the city and the Panthers” with his combination of a “winning smile and what national experts are now billing as unlimited potential on the field.” GMR Marketing Exec VP Mike Boykin said, “He’s going to be a natural pitchman. Have you seen a smile like his since Magic Johnson?” Already, Newton “has eclipsed the celebrity of any player in the Panthers’ 16-year history.” Panthers PR Dir Charlie Dayton said that following the Sept. 18 opener against the Packers, “the supply of Newton jerseys for sale is limited, with more on back order.” Dayton: “They’re selling at a very brisk pace. He’s created the most demand we’ve had in a long time.” Newton already has deals with Under Armour and GMC Trucks, and UA Senior VP/Sports Marketing Matt Mirchin said, “One thing we thought Cam could do is transcend football. We signed him with the thought process that he has the potential to be a Pro Bowl quarterback and win Super Bowls. Nothing in the last two weeks has changed that.” GMC has “yet to unveil its plans for Newton.” Spanberg reports before being drafted, Newton and agency IMG "decided on a gradual process for endorsements.” The strategy is “to find blue-chip companies without creating too many demands detracting from his time learning the pro game.” IMG agent Carlos Fleming, who handles Newton’s marketing portfolio, said that “while Newton will be selective … the discussions with companies are constant” (CHARLOTTE BUSINESS JOURNAL, 9/23 issue).
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