SBD/November 5, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Don Shula's Marketing Appeal Increasing With Age, Outpaces Current Dolphins Players

Shula's endorsements often target an older demographic, but his appeal is broad
Pro Football HOFer Don Shula last coached in the NFL in '95, but the 82-year-old “remains a viable and coveted product pitchman,” according to Craig Davis of the South Florida SUN-SENTINEL. Shula has been “representing Miami-based Warren Henry, a group of high-end car dealerships, since 2008,” and the latest campaign has him as “spokesman for their Legacy certification program for pre-owned vehicles.” He remains “active as a commercial pitchman while current Dolphins attract few promotional opportunities.” Miami Beach-based Floyd Sports Marketing Founder & CEO Floyd Raglin said, "I'm having a hard time pushing the guys on the team, but with Don Shula, you can make a phone call and get him a job. He's turning down jobs right now." Davis reported Shula's endorsements in retirement “often skew toward an older demographic, such as pitches for HearUSA hearing aids and NutriSystem diet plans for persons over 60.” But when he “signed on with Humana health care in his mid 70s, market research showed his appeal spanned a broad spectrum of age and ethnic groups.” Shula said, "I don't do anything just for the sake of doing it. If it's something I feel fits into my personality, what I feel is important and what I actually do, then I'll do it. It's all things that I enjoy doing and take a lot of pride in representing." Davis noted the Shula brand “appears stronger than ever with his chain of steakhouses expanding despite difficult economic times.” His endorsement portfolio has “grown to 34 steakhouses and grills,” including a new Shula Burger chain “that opened its fifth location last month in Fort Lauderdale” (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 11/3).
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