SBD/December 13, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Pirates' Andrew McCutchen Seen As Rising Star In Marketing World

McCutchen's success may lead to more sponsorship opportunities
Pirates CF Andrew McCutchen "can become the kind of crossover star that brings marketing gurus to their knees," according to Gwen Knapp of SPORTS ON EARTH. Suffice it to say "if all the things that defined McCutchen before Wednesday weren't enough to send his Q rating into the stratosphere," his marriage proposal on the syndicated "Ellen" talk show "pushed him over the top." But Knapp asks, "Does he have the stuff to draw people to their TV screens, to grab national endorsements and become a brand unto himself?" MLB has been "looking for such a player since about the time Simon and Garfunkel started asking where Joe DiMaggio had gone." Former MLBer Ken Griffey Jr. "could have been a contender, but he was held back by location and a strike that alienated the public in his prime." Yankees SS Derek Jeter "had the credentials: He is as strong-and-silent cool" as Patriots QB Tom Brady, "and he has more rings." But fame "comes more easily to football players these days, especially the guys behind center." The "Power 100" list of pro athlete endorsers from Bloomberg and Horrow Sports Ventures placed McCutchen in 64th place "at the beginning of this year, before the Pirates soared and before McCutchen became the MVP." McCutchen "should have a shot at the top 20" when the next list is released in January if the Pirates "stay relevant and if he is (mostly) as he appears, if the charming image isn't another of his perfect impersonations." MLB execs "clearly understand the possibilities embodied in McCutchen," as they recently appointed him and Red Sox DH David Ortiz as the exec producers for a new show that will appear on MTV2, "part of the sport's effort to reach the next generation of potential fans" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 12/13).
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