SBD/February 4, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Russell Wilson Already Seeing Benefits Of SB Win, Dubbed Next Face Of The NFL

Seahawks QB Russell Wilson remains under contract with Wisconsin-based American Family Insurance through the end of the year, but AFI Marketing Dir Myles Romero yesterday "wasn't ready to state definitively" that Wilson will appear in any additional commercials for the company, according to Lewis Lazare of the CHICAGO BUSINESS JOURNAL. Ogilvy & Mather, Chicago, "bet big on Wilson and made him the star of a 60-second commercial that ran during the Super Bowl in 68 markets where AFI has a presence." Romero said that it is "possible the spot will air again on TV." While Wilson's "future presence in advertising for AFI is unclear at this juncture, Romero is sure of one thing." He said, "We have signed Russell as a brand ambassador through the end of 2014." Romero hinted because AFI "has a very positive relationship with Wilson, the insurance company indeed might be able to use Wilson in more ads" (BIZJOURNALS.com, 2/3).

NEW FACE OF THE LEAGUE?
In N.Y., Steve Serby writes under the header, "Russell Wilson Is The NFL's New Poster Child." Broncos QB Peyton Manning "for such a long time ... has been the face of the NFL," while Patriots QB Tom Brady has been the league's "other face." However, the "heirs to the throne" are Colts QB Andrew Luck and Wilson, who "just became the leader in the clubhouse by winning Super Bowl XLVIII." Wilson has a "handsome face, a shining face of hope and optimism and cheer, a magnet of a face, almost an angelic face, today a championship face, the kind of face any professional sports owner, coach or manager would want to represent his franchise" (N.Y. POST, 2/4). Baker Street Advertising Senior VP & Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman noted Wilson "is going to kill" in terms of getting new endorsements, while the NFL "wants him to be the face of the league" ("Yahoo Sports Talk Live," CSN Bay Area, 2/3).

BASKING IN THE POST-SUPER BOWL GLOW
: Wilson appeared on CBS’ “Late Show” last night to discuss winning the Super Bowl, and he said of the team's post-Super Bowl celebration, “We just had so much fun. Macklemore performed for us in the hotel and coach (Pete) Carroll was up there trying to sing and dance. Paul Allen, our owner, was playing the guitar the whole night." Wilson said of his height, “Some people say I’m about 5’9. No, I’m 5’11." Wilson: "Despite my legal midget status, I think for me to be a really good quarterback you have to have great leadership, attention to detail and competitive nature.” Wilson attended last year’s Super Bowl as a member of the media and said he went to “observe pregame warm-ups and see how long it was, what the feel was like, the rhythm of pregame and the rhythm of halftime and watching Beyonce turn off the lights.” Letterman: “I've been trying to kill the pregame for years.” Wilson: “Pregame's like the best part! I get out there early and visualize.” Letterman asked, “What do you do now? Quit and get a job?” Wilson responded, “I'm thinking about trying to find a second job” (“Late Show,” CBS, 2/3).

RANGER RUSSELL?
Mark Rodgers, Wilson's agent, said that Wilson will "report to Arizona for the start of spring training" with the MLB Rangers. The team selected Wilson in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft in December, but his presence at Spring Training "seems to be a motivational tactic by the Rangers front office as much as anything" (SEATTLEPI.com, 2/3).
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