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Volume 24 No. 216
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Blackhawks' Patrick Kane Repairs Public Image, Marketing Profile After Off-Ice Troubles

Blackhawks RW Patrick Kane in the past year has seen headlines about his off-ice conduct replaced by "commercial appearances, including recent ones for Chevrolet and hockey equipment brand Bauer," according to Danny Ecker of CRAIN'S CHICAGO BUSINESS. The turnaround comes "just one year since a district attorney in upstate New York said he would not pursue criminal charges after investigating a Buffalo woman's allegation that she was sexually assaulted by Kane." Since then, Kane has run the "image recovery play perfectly." He "abandoned social media for eight months after the allegations surfaced in Buffalo, generally avoided media attention and was absent from ads." He also was named NHL MVP last season. The result has been a "nearly full image comeback," according to data from Q Scores. In January -- six months after the allegations came to light and two months after the DA said there would be no charges -- Q Scores' survey of 1,600 adults nationwide showed that 20% of people who are familiar with Kane "had a 'fair' or 'poor' impression of him," up from 12% in August '15. By August of this year, that "negative Q score" had dropped back to 15%. CAA's Pat Brisson, who reps Kane, said that his client's image revamp has "translated into a renewed deal with Gatorade and a series of new endorsement offers." He said that it is proof that "even blue-chip brands have regained their appetite to be associated" with Kane. Ecker noted in addition to Gatorade, others that returned this year include Bauer, local Chevrolet dealers, Upper Deck, Frameworth and Distinctive Games. However, Q Scores data shows Kane's reputation "hasn't recovered fully among women" (CHICAGOBUSINESS.com, 11/26).