Dion Phaneuf's Choice Of Postgame Hat Providing Red Bull With Unique Exposure
Maple Leafs D Dion Phaneuf during on-camera media interviews occasionally wears "a cap bearing the logo of his team," but the majority of the time he "opts for one emblazoned with that of a longtime sponsor, Red Bull," according to Dave Feschuk of the TORONTO STAR. While other prominent beverage brands "spend millions advertising at the Air Canada Centre, Phaneuf's sponsor forgoes that expense yet still gets high-profile exposure for a relative pittance." Phaneuf, who has been sponsored by Red Bull for eight years, "declined to share financial details, but an industry source said deals of this nature typically pay the athlete about $100,000 a year." While some pro sports leagues, including the NFL, have a "post-game ban on players wearing logos of non-league-approved sponsors," the NHL "has no such restrictions." The Maple Leafs said that they have "no intention of asking Phaneuf to cease and desist wearing his sponsor's logo during interviews." Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis: "Dion has a relationship with Red Bull and he’s obviously had that for quite some time. He’s free to wear what he would like." Meanwhile, Feschuk reports Maple Leafs LW Joffrey Lupul this past offseason "struck an agreement with Shop.ca, the shopping website, to wear a white golf cap bearing its logo." Former NHLer Eric Lindros helped "put together" Lupul's deal with Shop.ca. Lindros, an investor in the company, said that he "took his inspiration from Phaneuf." He said, "I looked at what was going on with Dion’s hat and I thought it was an opportunity" (TORONTO STAR, 1/17).