Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Michael Vick, The Eagles, and Sports Marketing

Image from Newsday

As a Bears fan, I chuckled at the Eagles signing of Michael Vick. Say what you will about the organization being a stand-up entity, this is still the team with fans who throw whatever they can find on the field and boo their future Hall of Fame quarterback on his draft day.

The home crowd will make or break Vick’s future with marketers. Winning the city of Philadelphia over is hard, but if I am his publicity team here’s what I would do aside from giving 50% of his money to the ASPCA:

1) Turn him into Rocky.

Philadelphia is the underdog capitol of the universe. Until the Phillies’ World Series victory last year, it seems like the last win the city had was the American Revolution. If you show the fans how much he has lost and how hard he is working to get it back, they may begin to respect him.

2) Keep him out of the news.

The only mentions of Vick should be on the sports page for the next 5 months. Don’t advertise any of the positive stuff. His playing time is the only thing that can bring marketers back. His image must be performance.

3) Turn down initial sponsorship offers.

Seriously. Eventually the information will get out that Vick is turning down chances to make money, which adds to the aura of seriousness.

Numbers 2 and 3 were integral to the reestablishment of Kobe Bryant. During and after the Eagle, Colorado trial, Bryant lost many of his sponsorships. Over the last three years, he has rehabilitated his image not by attaching his name to causes but by focusing on his game play. The sponsorships have since come back and the trial is a distant memory.

1 comment:

Mark Brandau said...

If you're going to turn Michael Vick into Rocky, I don't think Andy Reid could feasibly play the Burgess Meredith character.