PR Move of the Day: The ability for athletes and coaches to participate in sponsorship activation is key for any partnership, but this week Florida Atlantic University football coach Howard Schnellenberger took that activation to a new level, agreeing to get his teeth whitened as part of a promotional campaign with FAU sponsor SmileXpress (as reported by Sarah Talalay on her sports business blog). Obviously FAU, which continues to improve under legendary coach and needs creative marketing to battle for the sponsorship dollar with area powerhouses like Miami, Florida, Central Florida, and Florida State, scored some big points and nice dollars with this one. Hopefully if they land a cosmetic surgery or weight loss center the coach will be able to pick and choose his spots of participation.
On to some other topics…nice off sports page New York Times piece (courtesy of Dan Klores Communications and Islanders/Dragons PR guy Chris Botta) by Alan Schwarz on New York Dragons wide receiver/medical student Chris Anthony , great example of the AFL team finding the key pitch and placement in a big market…on to two baseball branding notes, first in today's Chicago Sun Times Gordon Wittenmyer has an interesting piece on the hottest (and racially insensitive) t-shirt in Chicago, a Kosuke Fukudome takeoff on the Cubs logo with a slogan around the outside. Classic example of the adage that any publicity is good publicity, as the story both brought the controversial tee to light and will probably inspire more sales on the cult side. …secondly, some notes in the Seattle PI today show the diversity and sometimes unexpected issues teams must deal with…one note talks about the problems fans will face over the weekend getting to Safeco Field as the Dali Lama has an event for over 50,000 across the street at Qwest Field, while a much planned and promoted J.J. Putz Soul Patch night (with each fan getting a stick on replica of the relievers distinctive facial hair) hit a little snag when Putz showed up to the park clean shaven this week. Sometimes the best plans…lastly, on the more distinctive (albeit non-sports) area of promotional opportunities, check out First Call, which has the story of the first sponsorship for The Pope and the history behind it.