Unless you have been living under a rock, this week you saw Matt Cassel make his debut as a spokesperson for K-Swiss. Maybe spokesperson is not the right title. Endorser? Maybe. But to be sure, it was quite different from the other “typical” player endorsement ads.
We are used to seeing barely clothed athletes, sweating profusely (in slow motion) and talking about how the competition is sleeping while he/she is working. It’s pretty standard fare that comes in dozens of flavors. Sports drinks, shoes, cars and all the rest named by Mrs. Rod Tidwell represent the pinnacle of player endorsement. You’ve made it, time to cash some easy checks.
But K-Swiss, bless their hearts, is taking the endorsement path less travelled. If you still don’t know what I’m talking about try this NSFW link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI_9Yxr0blo.
I think it’s hilarious though I’m not sure K-Swiss moved up the consideration list for me. But if you are going to go big, go big. And K-Swiss went HUGE. Cassel is front and center as the new Chief Marketing Officer for K-Swiss under fictional CEO Kenny Powers. It’s R-rated and full of awesomeness. Overall I applaud them.
The most exciting thing is that for the first time since George Brett, Kansas City has a professional athlete with enough talent and panache to appear in a national ad campaign. Certainly we have had big time athletes since George, but none of them had the charisma in front of the camera and the skill to back it up on the field. Derrick Thomas has a chance at it, but he had some off-field issues that probably scared advertisers a bit. Priest could have had some national endorsement deals but Priest was a notorious recluse who seemed uninterested in the dollars or exposure.
I think it’s great for both Matt and the city that he got this unique opportunity and ran with it. I’m guessing not every agent read the script and thought it was a good fit for his player. But Cassel jumped on it and it will pay dividends beyond the cash.
- It shows Matt has a personality and sense of humor. That attracts talent. Other players like to play with team leaders who have and display character. This exposure can’t hurt.
- It positions him as one of the best at his position. Other players like to play with stars and especially on teams that have star quarterbacks. Again, this can only help raise the Chiefs profile in the minds of other players.
- Finally, it gives us fans something to hang our hat on, and that’s good for everyone.