SBD/June 11, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Griffin Appears As Policeman In New Adidas Spot Filmed In Downtown DC

Griffin dresses as a policeman for an upcoming adidas ad
Redskins QB Robert Griffin III “lit up the city on Saturday by filming an Adidas spot at two downtown locations,” according to Dan Steinberg of the WASHINGTON POST. An “elaborate production" near the White House involved a "water tanker truck, like they use to simulate rain on a movie shoot.” Photos from the shoot included Griffin “dressed as a policeman” (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 6/10). In Indianapolis, Anthony Shoettle writes Griffin “appears to be a hotter commodity with sponsors, fans and sports card traders than No. 1 pick Andrew Luck.” Griffin already has “signed major sponsorship deals with Adidas, Subway sandwich shops, EA Sports, Castrol Motor Oil and football safety gear maker EvoShield.” Meanwhile, Luck has signed deals with Nike and Pepsi, for which “he’ll do ads for Gatorade and Quaker Oats.” Indianapolis-based marketing firm Sunrise Sports Group President David Morton said that there is “some advantage to getting sponsorship deals done before the NFL season and making announcements before the media shifts its attention to the Summer Olympics.” Still, he “doesn’t think Luck is more poorly positioned than Griffin at this point” (IBJ.com, 6/8).

EARLY BIRDS: ESPN.com’s Kristi Dosh noted adidas and Subway are “wagering their 2012 sales on RG3 before he has thrown an NFL pass,” but what “protects them from making a bad investment on a guy who could flunk this fall?” Marketers evaluate talent “differently than teams do,” and with Griffin, they are “following what we’ll call the four rules of rookie marketing.” It is “odd to say, but Griffin’s deals … might be owed partly to caution rather than to a conviction that he’ll be a superstar.” Companies often “lock up players just to keep them from competitors” (ESPN.com, 6/7).
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