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Volume 25 No. 51
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The Real Slim Shade-y? Jeff Gordon To Endorse FosterGrants

RI-based sunglasses manufacturer FosterGrant has signed a multiyear endorsement deal with Jeff Gordon. Gordon will be featured in the company's "Who's That Behind Those FosterGrants?" ads beginning in spring '01. The campaign currently features Cindy Crawford and, in the past, has featured Sophia Loren, Anthony Quinn, Raquel Welch and Woody Allen. Also, FosterGrant will create a line of signature sunglasses around Gordon. Support will be provided via POP displays and consumer sweeps, which will offer trips to NASCAR races as prizes (FosterGrant). FosterGrant Exec Dir John Agre: "We had been looking at Nascar for a while. It is the fastest-growing professional sport and its demos match up well with the profile of most of our accounts." BRANDWEEK's Sandra Dolbow writes that Gordon "scores well with women." Agre added, "It is important for us to not be considered as a female brand. Jeff Gordon provides a strong male counterpart to Cindy Crawford" (BRANDWEEK, 4/2 issue). SMI President Humpy Wheeler, when asked "who is [NASCAR's] current superstar": "I think Jeff Gordon. I don't think there's any question about that. ... [But] he appeals to sort of a Yuppie set. I don't think he's going to pick up a whole lot [Dale] Earnhardt fans." Richard Petty added Gordon is "our leader now" (DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 3/31).

NOT THE REAL DALE: FSN's Kirsten Gum reported Action Performance is "leading a concentrated effort" to stop counterfeit Earnhardt memorabilia. Individual tracks are "also working to combat this problem, working with Action to keep the counterfeit merchandise off track property." Rusty Wallace and Gordon "have also joined the fight against counterfeiting," as they're not only "worried about protecting their licensed product, they're also focused on protecting their fans who buy them" ("Totally NASCAR," 4/3).