SBD/August 24, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Top Two Picks In NFL Draft Offer Contrasting Strategies For Signing Endorsements

Luck's sponsorship deals include some online ads for Nike and Gatorade
The top two picks in this year's NFL Draft -- Colts QB Andrew Luck and Redskins QB Robert Griffin III -- face off against each other during a preseason game Saturday, and while Griffin is “already a marketing star who’s done TV spots for Subway, adidas, and others,” Luck has “done very little, and certainly nothing of a national TV scope,” according to Bob Kravitz of the INDIANAPOLIS STAR. Luck has “chosen to maintain a low profile his rookie year.” Unlike Griffin, Luck had to “stay at Stanford to finish his final classes, and missed some OTAs in the process.” Baylor Univ. graduated earlier in the year, giving Griffin “time before OTAs to film commercials for Gatorade, Subway and others.” Luck said, “I really didn’t have much time. And I wanted to make sure I had time to handle the stuff that mattered, whether it was moving into an apartment, finishing school or learning the playbook. There was so much going on, I figured the less time I spent promoting myself or doing ads, the better for me. I figured I’d wait and hopefully, at some point, a big fish will come along.” He added, “And really, to each his own. I don’t necessarily think my way is the right way. It’s what’s best for each person. It’s fun to see Robert capitalizing on his situation.” Kravitz notes Luck has done “some online ads for Nike and Gatorade, but nothing big and national like RGIII.” Luck said, “We talked about this right after school, but since then, we haven’t focused much on it. I’m living fine right now. I’ll focus now on football and maybe after the season is over, we’ll pursue some other opportunities, maybe something in the Silicon Valley. But for now, the time isn’t right” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/24).

PRESEASON HYPE: In Indianapolis, Phillip Wilson noted the preseason Colts-Redskins game on Saturday is being “promoted on a T-shirt,” and the move indicates the “immediate marketability” of Luck and Griffin. Indianapolis-based retailer MainGate President & CEO David Moroknek said that the "QB Showdown" T-shirt was launched in both the Indianapolis and DC markets late last week, and “has already sold half of its stock” (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 8/23). ESPN.com’s Paul Kuharsky noted the shirt is selling for $35. Kuharsky: “If you see that shirt and say, ‘Hey, I’d like to walk around in one of those,’ I beg you to reconsider” (ESPN.com, 8/21).
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