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SBD/July 15, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship
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Published July 15, 2013
NATIONAL ICON: In DC, James Wagner wrote Nationals CF Bryce Harper is an "immensely popular figure, an attention-capturing player fans flock to see on the field and companies want pitching their products off it." Harper has one of the "top-selling jerseys in baseball, and he is a featured player" in MLB campaigns. He has appeared in commercials for Toyota, Geico and Under Armour. For the companies he has endorsed and "others that want him, Harper is budding marketing gold." Harper has "risen to popularity in a social media world." UA Senior VP/Global Sports Marketing Matt Mirchin said of Harper, "He had a cult-type following because of the access that people had to information in real time." Mirchin added, "He has done an incredible job of coming through the minor league system so quickly, handling his celebrity status as good as he has and performing on the field." Mirchin: "He’s very marketable for us for a lot of reasons." Wagner noted it is "not known how much money" Harper has "earned through endorsements." Consulting firm Parthenon Group estimated Harper's endorsement value for '12 at $1.2M (WASHINGTON POST, 7/14).
ORANGE CRUSH: In Baltimore, Chris Kaltenbach noted the popularity of Orioles 1B Chris Davis "seems to be thriving these days," as fans "like the way he carries himself, like the way he comes across a little goofy, like his steady demeanor and the ways he seems to take neither himself nor his success seriously." The team prior to a game in May handed out "Crush Davis" T-shirts, and they currently are "going for a minimum of $50 on Ebay." Local memorabilia stores "can't keep Chris Davis items in stock." Maryland-based Dugout Zone employee Patrick Stump said, "We've got some autographed photos of him that have been selling like crazy" (Baltimore SUN, 7/13).