SBD/September 19, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Harvey's Rep Takes Knock With Interview; Better Media Training Key To Bounce Back

While Twitter is full of comments on what Mets P Matt Harvey could have done differently in his interview yesterday with Dan Patrick, two sports marketing execs said what Harvey lacked most was proper preparation. Engage Marketing President & Chief Solutions Officer Kevin Adler said that Harvey promoting Qualcomm while declining to discuss his elbow injury went against the "quid pro quo in the relationship between a brand, their spokespeople, and sports media." Adler said of Harvey, "Good for him for being so committed to the brand. Sometimes you get these endorsements, and the athletes almost accept the deals and the check in their sleep, and they’re not super-committed to the brand. We had the opposite experience here -- somebody who was so committed to getting the message out there that all sense of context went out the window." Adler noted even when Patrick allowed Harvey to speak freely about Qualcomm, the message "wasn't well-delivered." Adler: "There's no question that Qualcomm’s PR folks could have done a better job of media training." Turnkey Intelligence Senior VP Steve Seiferheld also called for more coaching for Harvey, saying, "Somebody needs to sit down with him and say, 'This is what you need to expect.'"

: Adler said of Harvey's marketability in the wake of the interview, "I don’t know that he necessarily has the phone ringing off the hook from other brands today. Nor does he necessarily have the phone ringing off the hook from other media outlets." Adler added, "If I’m his agent, I’m probably investing in a little bit of media training, but I’m also in pitching future deals saying, 'Look how committed my guy is to advocating for the brands he signs up with. He’s not just collecting checks, he’s out there stumping.'" Seiferheld said Harvey's interview "hurt him from an endorsement perspective, but it’s something he can recover from," and stressed athletes' need to be authentic as endorsers. Seiferheld: "I’m sure Qualcomm was ecstatic he was so focused on getting the job done, but you have to come across as who you are."
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