Indianapolis-based audio products company Klipsch President & CEO Paul Jacobs said that he "passed on signing deals with numerous NFL quarterbacks" before making Colts QB Andrew Luck its spokesperson in August, according to Anthony Schoettle of INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. Jacobs said, "Andrew Luck is one of the nicest, most sincere guys I've ever met. He's just so humble." Jacobs' experience with other "high-profile athletes hasn't been as pleasant." He said, "We were approached by one of the flashiest quarterbacks in the league, one that was slapped all over the headlines. I sat face-to-face with him in Chicago, and walked out of that meeting and said 'No way.' We just didn't agree on our philosophies in life. And if you don't agree on your philosophies on life, you're going to have difficulties agreeing on your philosophies on business." Klipsch also has deals with Colts DE Robert Mathis and Pacers C Roy Hibbert. Jacobs: "We want (our endorsers) to be brutally honest with us and tell us what they'd really like to see come to market" (IBJ.com, 10/16).
BUCKING THE TRENDS: BLOOMBERG NEWS' Mason Levinson wrote Broncos QB Peyton Manning brings his "own economy along with his record-setting passing game" when the team play. The Marketing Arm Managing Dir Matt Delzell said that Manning has "as much influence with consumers as Bill Gates and actor Tom Hanks." Baker Street Advertising Senior VP & Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman said that Manning's willingness to "poke fun at himself and his adeptness at delivering lines while picking suitable scripts has created 'something very accessible about him.'" Manning as of Oct. 1 ranked 95th in the Davie Brown Index, putting him "on par with people such as" Jackie Robinson, Jack Nicholson and Elton John. Manning ranks "10th in the degree to which consumers believe a celebrity is an influence in today's world, on par" with Gates, Hanks, President Obama, Will Smith and Betty White (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 10/17).
HOMECOMING: ESPN.com's Darren Rovell noted more than 10,000 tickets to the Broncos-Colts game Sunday night "have been sold on StubHub, more than half the number of tickets sold in the past month alone." Fans have "paid a median price of $250 for each of those tickets, a number that ticket aggregator TiqIQ is calling the most expensive seat" to a Colts home game since '10. Fanatics.com data showed that this past week, more Manning gear "was sold from addresses in Indianapolis than Luck merchandise." However, sales of Luck's jerseys "are up more than 250 percent compared to the first six weeks of last season on Fanatics.com." Manning jerseys "are up 170 percent." Manning's return to Indianapolis has "resulted in the city selling out every hotel room." The Colts are selling a shirt that "features both Manning and Luck with the words, 'If you build it, Luck will come'" (ESPN.com, 10/17).
Nike on Thursday morning announced that the Univ. of Oregon football team "will wear pink cleats, socks, gloves and helmets for its home game against Washington State on Saturday," according to Darren Rovell of ESPN.com. Nike and UO have "partnered in the past to wear pink to support October's Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but this is the first time the school, known for its variety of uniform combinations, will wear pink helmets." The helmets will help to "raise money for the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, a charity that has raised" $2.6M for scientific research and programs associated with women's cancers. Nike said that 25 helmets "will be auctioned over the course of the week beginning Saturday" (ESPN.com, 10/18). In Oregon, Mark Johnson notes the gesture "goes deeper than the Ducks merely switching from one Hi-Liter color to another." It is intended to "create awareness and to honor cancer survivors" (Eugene REGISTER-GUARD, 10/18).
STYLE OVER SUBSTANCE? ESPN.com's Paul Lukas wrote thanks to the growing number of helmet designs, many programs "have at least three different helmet colors they can customize with various decals and face mask colors to create a near-endless array of designs." However, the NFL citing safety concerns has "enacted a new rule designed to minimize the number of players switching helmets during the season." So the NFL is "limiting helmet options, while NCAA helmet designs are mushrooming." Lukas: "Is the NFL's new rule misguided? Is the NCAA compromising on safety?" Univ. of Arizona Dir of Equipment Operations Wendell Neal said, "I do have concerns about all these helmets -- when does it stop? To me, we're going 100 miles an hour with this thing, and a rule like the NFL came up with, I see that as slowing it down." Univ. of North Carolina Assistant Equipment Manager Jason Freeman said, "I think the NFL is doing what it thinks is in the best interests of its players. But until I see something that tells me otherwise, I feel comfortable with what we're doing." Indiana Univ. Dir of Football Equipment Mitch Gudmundson: "When we heard about that rule, we sat down and talked about it with our medical staff, our doctors and our administration, just to review our policy. And we determined that we don't feel wearing multiple helmets is problematic" (ESPN.com, 10/17).
An adidas spokesperson said a letter going around the Internet claiming to be from the company and offering Kansas F Andrew Wiggins a $180M contract is "fraudulent," according to Kurt Helin of NBCSPORTS.com. The spokesperson added that aside from the denial, the company "cannot and would not further comment on college underclassmen." Bleacher Report on Tuesday published an article on Wiggins' endorsement prospects, but that report "did not reference any letter or say there was an offer." Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling, who wrote the piece, said that he had "two independent sources who made no mention of a memo" (NBCSPORTS.com, 10/17). SOLECOLLECTOR.com's Nick DePaula noted the letter is allegedly from adidas Chair & CEO Herbert Hainer, "addressed blankly to a Wiggins representative, which Sole Collector has exclusively obtained ... and has also confirmed to be entirely fake" (SOLECOLLECTOR.com, 10/17).