SBD/September 6, 2013/NFL Season Preview

Colts' Andrew Luck Takes Slow And Steady Approach In Endorsements

Luck will help design products for Indianapolis-based Klipsch
Colts QB Andrew Luck is profiled by the INDIANAPOLIS STAR's Zak Keefer, who describes the second-year player as a "dichotomy with a dynamite arm." Luck is "charismatic enough to have Madison Avenue begging for his time," but also "judicious enough to shun the spotlight save one afternoon a week: Sunday." Luck turned down all national TV ads last season, as he "held firm to an old-fashioned credo -- earn it on the field before you earn it elsewhere." Will Wilson, Luck's agent and uncle, said, "We turned down more things than I can remember." Keefer notes Luck last season "owned a thin marketing portfolio" compared to recent No. 1 overall NFL Draft picks. Luck "repped Nike, Quaker Oats and two trading card companies," and had "one-time gigs with Gatorade and EA Sports." He also "began working with Riley Children's Hospital." But other than that, "it was football, football, football," a strategy that "runs parallel with Luck's predecessor," Peyton Manning. One should not "discount Luck's ability to continue to follow Manning's path and embrace more opportunities later in his career," even if it appears Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is "destined to succeed Manning as the NFL's endorsement king." Luck's "objective from a marketing standpoint is to build a local base before expanding nationally." That is, "win over the hometown fans -- first with victories, then by joining forces with their companies." That is "one of the prime reasons Luck signed a multiyear deal this summer" with Indianapolis-based speaker and headphone manufacturer Klipsch. In addition to the company being locally based, the allure for Luck to endorse Klipsch was that it "allows him the chance to put his architectural degree to work" (INDIANAPOLIS STAR, 9/6).

RELUCTANT MEGA-STAR? In Detroit, John Niyo notes Lions WR Calvin Johnson in a new Nike campaign titled "Calvin & Johnson," plays a "reticent football star" while Sean "Diddy" Combs handles "all the public attention, including his media obligations." Johnson "generally has avoided self-promotion," and has "opted for non-speaking parts" in his marketing deals. In an Acura TV spot he "was seen -- and undressed -- but not heard," while a Nike ad last fall had "regular folks all talk about Johnson, but no one ever sees him." The latest Nike ad includes Johnson's own voiceover, but he admitted, "I didn't even want to do it because of the timing of it." Johnson said that he "hadn’t gotten around to watching the pre-release clips in his email inbox by the time Nike posted it on YouTube" earlier this week. But it "played to good reviews in the locker room" (DETROIT NEWS, 9/6).
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