Great Expectations: Super Bowl Win Could Vault Flacco, Kaepernick's Marketing Value
Super Bowl XLVII "doesn't look terribly exciting to marketers seeking endorsement talent," according to Baker Street Advertising Senior VP & Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman in his annual pre-Super Bowl marketability report. The "leading product-pitching candidates" heading into this year's game are 49ers QB Colin Kaepernick and Ravens LB Ray Lewis. Also marketable are "a pair of sibling head coaches with little patience for media games" in John and Jim Harbaugh. Kaepernick, though still "raw on camera and too heavily tattooed for conservative advertisers ... has the biggest marketing upside of any player." He could "become very familiar very quickly to a broad American audience." A Super Bowl ring "in his first try could vault Kaepernick into seven-figure deal territory." Dorfman writes no "other player in this Super Bowl can match Lewis' marketing resume, which includes deals with Under Armour, Old Spice, Visa, EA Sports, and a future TV analyst gig with ESPN." But he is "not everyone's cup of tea." There is that "checkered past, that thing about the deer antler spray, and that raging ego." With retirement "imminent, he's not the pitchman you want if you're after an active player." But Lewis "will certainly remain highly visible in retirement, and a viable choice for any product that's strong, works hard and lasts long." Meanwhile, a win Sunday would propel Ravens QB Joe Flacco "into elite QB status and could earn him a bundle in local Baltimore marketing deals and speaking engagements, but it may take more than one to make impression nationally." Kaepernick and Ravens RB Ray Rice both appear in a "got milk?" ad in Friday's edition of USA Today. Whoever wins Sunday will then appear in a solo Milk Mustache ad in USA Today on Monday (THE DAILY).
BUILDING A BRAND: USA TODAY's Jeffrey Martin writes Kaepernick's decision to apply for a trademark for "Kaepernicking" and five other terms with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office "might appear to be a play for cash," but he "insists his motives are pure." Kaepernick said, "Camp Taylor is a foundation that I'm connected with right now, and anything I can do to help them and help those kids is something I want to do." N.Y.-based attorney Jaia Thomas, who specializes in intellectual property law and advises athletes and celebrities, said, "It's important because if they don't get around to trademarking it, someone else will." Thomas added, "If Kaepernick doesn't file for it, that gives me or you the right to make a million T-shirts with his name on it and make a profit off his name and his brand. Colin is trying to make sure that doesn't happen" (USA TODAY, 2/1). Meanwhile, in S.F., Jeff Elder noted fans can "get all kinds of NFL memorabilia at the Super Bowl -- except authentic" Kaepernick items. He simply "burst on the scene so suddenly that there isn’t much to collect." But if the "young star helps his team win the Super Bowl, experts say there will be a run on collecting real memorabilia" (SFGATE.com, 1/31). However, CBSSPORTS.com's Mike Freeman said even if Kaepernick performs well Sunday there will be a "segment of the population" that will not embrace him as a superstar because he is an "African-American quarterback with tattoos." Freeman said, "Some people just won't accept that. There's going to be some issue no matter what happens because to some people they want their quarterbacks to not look like that" ("Rome," CBS Sports Network, 1/30).
IN THE DETAILS: According to marketing index Celebrity DBI, consumers consider Lewis to be among the NFL's most influential players, on par with players like Patriots QB Tom Brady and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers. Among all celebrities in the DBI database, Lewis' influence score is in the same neighborhood as NBC's Ryan Seacrest and actors Jessica Biel, Ryan Reynolds and Tina Fey. 49ers WR Randy Moss has the highest awareness score among players in this year's Super Bowl, known by nearly 55% of U.S. consumers. Lewis is close behind, as he is known by about 54%. Consumers found Kaepernick to be the most likable athlete in the game, with his 40% score ranking on par with actors Owen Wilson and Leonardo DiCaprio and Super Bowl halftime performer Beyonce. According to the index, 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh is better known than Ravens coach John Harbaugh. Thirty-five percent of consumers recognize Jim, while less than 30% know John. But John wins in appeal, outscoring his brother by two points. Consumers also find John to be slightly more trustworthy than Jim (DBI).
PERFECT SEASON NOT EQUAL TO PERFECT PITCH: The '72 Dolphins team that went undefeated was profiled on Bloomberg TV's "Sportfolio" this week, and members of the team had varying success trying to cash in on the achievement in the immediate aftermath. Jake Scott, who was named Super Bowl VII MVP, said he was not offered many endorsement opportunities and he "didn't make many public appearances or anything." But Bob Griese said he had a "bunch" of endorsements, with Sears being the "biggest one." Dick Anderson said, "You usually got a car dealer to do ads for and get a car." Horrow Sports Ventures CEO Rick Horrow said, "Most of the 1972 Dolphins were not offered 15 minutes of instant fame, but many of them parlayed perfection into lasting careers." Coach Don Shula is a "restauranteur," Larry Csonka "has a television production company" and Nick Buoniconti "has enjoyed success in a number of fields since his retirement from football, including broadcasting, athlete representation and corporate law." Horrow: "Perfection didn't bring the members of the 1972 Dolphins instant riches, but the experience laid the foundation for sustained success" (“Sportfolio,” Bloomberg TV, 1/30).