SBJ/September 17 - 23, 2007/Marketingsponsorship

Gordon not going it alone in new Sprint Nextel ad

A Sprint Nextel commercial that debuts this month will feature Jeff Gordon as a father and husband, marking the first time since his wife gave birth that an ad refers to the NASCAR driver’s new family.

“Behind the Legend,” a 30-second spot that will air on ABC, ESPN and Speed during Nextel Cup broadcasts and other NASCAR programming, depicts Gordon in the middle of a promotion when his cell phone rings. It’s his real-life wife, Ingrid Vandebosch, on the other end, telling Gordon that she needs diapers for baby Ella, who was born June 20.

Gordon promises to comply and continues with the promotion when the phone rings again. This time, Vandebosch tells Gordon with much greater urgency that she needs diapers — now. The spot closes with Sprint Nextel promotional offers tied to the Chase for the Nextel Cup.

Vandebosch’s voice is used in the ad, but she does not appear.

The spot was created by Goodby, Silverstein and Partners, San Francisco.

“Jeff asked Ingrid if she wanted to do the ad,” said John Bickford, Gordon’s stepfather and manager of Jeff Gordon Inc. “She makes her own decisions and she said that she’d do it.”

The original script called for a female voice-over to be used in the spot, but Gordon insisted that Vandebosch’s voice be used instead.

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