SBD/February 23, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

In His Sights: EyeBlack Signs Bears LB Brian Urlacher To Multiyear Deal

Urlacher says the deal with EyeBlack was "a natural fit" for him
EyeBlack, maker of the glare-reducing patches for athletes, has signed Bears LB Brian Urlacher to a multiyear deal to become the face of EyeBlack’s Original black product line. Financial terms of the deal were not announced, but Urlacher, who has worn EyeBlack for several years, will appear on the packaging of the 18-pair packs. The company does not have a deal with the NFL, so Urlacher appears sans any Bears imagery on the EyeBlack packaging. No television commercials featuring the perennial Pro Bowler are planned, but the deal includes a large social media presence on EyeBlack’s Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest pages. Urlacher approached the company about the partnership, which was negotiated by 1 Degree Sports Dir of Athlete Marketing Peter Webb and Urlacher's reps Bryce Karger and Brenda Lundberg-Casey. EyeBlack Founder & President Peter Beveridge said, “When I got a call from his agent saying, ‘Hey, we’d like to talk to you about maybe doing a deal with EyeBlack,’ my comment to him was ‘Why did it take you so long to call?’ Brian Urlacher in my opinion is an A-lister and he’s the perfect fit for our brand, our look and our product.” Urlacher said he will promote EyeBlack through his social media pages, and he will also “talk to other athletes about the product and do a few interviews to talk about our partnership.” He joins Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch, Steelers LB LaMarr Woodley and former U.S. softball P Jennie Finch as endorsers for the company. EyeBlack has exclusive deals with Nike, MLB, Major League Lacrosse and 150 colleges. Beveridge notes the company has seen sales growth of 30-40% each year. The Original black EyeBlack line sold 400,000 pairs in ’11, but Beveridge said he expects to sell over 1 million this year.
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