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Thread: Marketing Ms. Davis & Mr. White

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Marketing Ms. Davis & Mr. White

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/11/fa...ewanted=2&_r=2

    Apparently, some effort will be given, following the Summer Olympics, to find some endorsements for Meryl & Charlie. The problems illuminate only too clearly how far skating has fallen out of the public consciousness.

    “Clearly this is an amazingly marketable couple who are talented,” said Marc Beckman, founder of the Designers Management Agency, which represents athletes. “But to get endorsements they need to have a story to tell that helps them emotionally connect with the American Public.”

    “I have never heard of them,” he said, “and that is in itself a problem as they have won an Olympic medal. Clearly their agents or managers are not doing enough. It is not their sport that is unpopular, it is more about building a brand for them, and a platform.”

    ...

    “I think they have no large endorsements at this point because it is a challenging time in the economy,” Ms. Ohnuki (eta, their IMG agent) said. “But after the Summer Olympics we plan to get them out there more. They care about literacy issues and kids’ nutrition, so we try to reach out to companies who care about those issues as well.”
    They apparently have resisted two approaches that might have led to more popularity:

    1. They refused to pose nude for the ESPN's Body magazine
    2. They refuse to pretend to be in a relationship, other than friendship and partnership.

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    Custom Title DianaSelene's Avatar
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    Ugh. So this is what is necessary in order to become popular... Nudity and relationships. Not the fact that they are great athletes.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Many think the two, with their Disney good looks (Ms. Davis is a dead ringer for Belle, with long brown hair and wide-set eyes, while Mr. White could play any prince with his broad shoulders and curly blond locks).
    http://images2.fanpop.com/images/pho...59-300-367.jpg

    One problem might be that articles like this always appear in the "Fashion and Style" section instead of Sports of Financial.

    Quote Originally Posted by DianaSelene View Post
    Ugh. So this is what is necessary in order to become popular... Nudity and relationships. Not the fact that they are great athletes.
    Interesting that they mention Bode Miller as an example of an Olympic athlete that Davis and White ought to take after. Miller is famous in real life for being a total jerk, while at the 2004 Olympics he drank and partied all night, lost all of his races, and basically said he didn't give a damn for his country or his fans.

    ...(Davis and White) might finally bring the American figure skating world out of a lull that began the moment one Olympic champion, Michelle Kwan, hung up her skates.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Ah, the good old days, when a great skater like Michelle didn't have to pose nude, or create a tabloid love story to be a well-loved athlete!

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    I can't believe that anyone could look at Meryl and Charlie, either skating or just smiling into the camera, and not get some ideas about how to market them. So the Kardashians can get rich selling glamor they don't have, clothes they didn't design or make, and a reality show that isn't real, but a talented and beautiful couple like Meryl and Charlie have no earning potential? Can't you envision one of those glamorous perfume or car ad campaigns? Or colorful, musical clothing ads with Target or Spiegel? And we call ourselves capitalists. These guys could sell come-hither without having or implying a torrid relationship. You just have to look at them, and that champagne fizz starts in your brain. Yipes, do they have no imagination at all on Madison Avenue?

    They ought to find Kate Hudson's publicist. This charming young actress doesn't have a huge film resume (though she netted an Oscar nomination for her first film, that's been the peak of her career so far). She's not a regular on a TV series. But she's regularly featured in fashion and style articles and even made it onto the cover of Harper's Bazaar, a leading fashion magazine in the U.S. And now she's the "face" of a new Ann Taylor campaign--and not anonymous, either! Her name is in large letters in Ann Taylor's clothing displays in ads and store windows. I think this skillful unknown publicist could do magic with Meryl and Charlie.

    Between Meryl and Alissa, I don't see why the glamor of skating isn't tapped more. Those ad executives should wake up.
    Last edited by Olympia; 03-10-2012 at 08:21 AM.

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    Custom Title mmcdermott's Avatar
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    I think it's going to be hard to market ice dancing because a lot of people don't "get" it, and many wouldn't recognize it as a "sport". Patrick Chan gets a lot more media attention in Canada than Virtue and Moir do. And, although V/M aren't in a relationship they sure can make it look like they are!

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    It shouldn't be as hard as all that.

    Torvill & Dean were as popular, if not more so, in their touring days, (with their own tour) as their fellow 1984 Olympic Gold medallist, Scott Hamilton.

    And ballroom dancing, as in Dancing With the Stars, or just dancing as in So You Think You Can Dance are very popular reality shows.

    I think I agree with Mark Beckman:

    “I have never heard of them,” he said, “and that is in itself a problem as they have won an Olympic medal. Clearly their agents or managers are not doing enough. It is not their sport that is unpopular, it is more about building a brand for them, and a platform.”
    Apparently, the IMG lady Ms. Ohnuki is not that amazing at marketing.

    If a guy in the business of representing athletes (Beckman) hasn't heard of them, she's doing something wrong.

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    Off the ice Buttercup's Avatar
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    I don't think she looks like Belle, but surely they can be marketable. Turning down the ESPN body issue may have been unwise; lots of top athletes do that, and many of the pictures are fantastic. Lysacek did it one year, and I don't think it was at all exploitative.

    If their agent thinks a being on Twitter and having a FB page is enough to create a real presence online, I'm not surprised they're not breaking through. However, as we all know, skating is a niche sport, and most skaters are not flush with endorsements, including some other champions. Real opportunities will likely be more around the time of the Olympics, and D/W need to have a good agent to capitalize on those. Tanith certainly doesn't seem to have any problems getting noticed - maybe they could learn from her.

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    Custom Title Mathman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buttercup View Post
    I don't think she looks like Belle...
    OK, but you gotta give me Scott Hamilton and Jiminy Cricket.

    http://www.nndb.com/people/609/00002...hamilton01.jpg

    http://sorcerersworkshop.org/images/jiminycricket1.gif

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    part of the reason is they are a team. they just can't market one person , to make it work they have to market it both of them, in today's day and age it is hard.

    lakers--kobe,
    knicks-lin
    indy football was peyton manning--
    see for teams they pick one person and market them. for a pair/dance team of two it is hard. they need it each to win and make it. they can't subitute and still have the team win, or pick a person on the team to represent the team. for figure skating they have to market both-U.S. public isn't geared for two people only one.
    which makes it harder for pair, dances teams to get noticed even though like meryl/charlie are winners and personalible.

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    skating philosopher
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    I'm sorry, but the "it's the economy" excuse is a lame one. There are plenty of athletes and entertainers still getting endorsements despite the economy (including the examples many people listed above).

    I think the first step is that they need to be featured in a non-skating context. Maia Shibutani was featured in Teen Vogue. (http://www.teenvogue.com/beauty/2012...erview#slide=5) talking about her makeup routines. Sasha was a guest judge on Project Runway. And of course Johnny Weir and his reality show. And Evan and Dancing with the Stars.

    The reason the Kardashians get rich and noticed because they're all over the place. Outside of the skating world, Meryl and Charlie are not. If they are all about nutrition and health, why not try to get a gig with Jamie Oliver? He's been getting a lot of attention lately with his whole reform school food initiative.

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    Wicked Yankee Girl dorispulaski's Avatar
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    Which is the sort of thing their lame agent should be suggesting.

    Or getting one of them a gig on Dancing With the Stars, which I know either or both of them would love--in fact, better yet, both of them. It would be cute having them competing against each other for a change, and would make a cute, cute story line for the show. Or failing that if Skating With Celebrities has another run, have them competing against each other.

    I would think that a useful agent would have had a thousand good ideas.

    Even Rachael Flatt got a gig with a cosmetics company.

    And whatever else you say about Johnny's agent, he's had gigs, a show, and his modelling career.

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    skating philosopher
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorispulaski View Post
    Which is the sort of thing their lame agent should be suggesting.

    Or getting one of them a gig on Dancing With the Stars, which I know either or both of them would love--in fact, better yet, both of them. It would be cute having them competing against each other for a change, and would make a cute, cute story line for the show. Or failing that if Skating With Celebrities has another run, have them competing against each other.

    I would think that a useful agent would have had a thousand good ideas.

    Even Rachael Flatt got a gig with a cosmetics company.

    And whatever else you say about Johnny's agent, he's had gigs, a show, and his modelling career.
    I think Rachael is also with Tara Modlin.

    She also had endorsements with AT&T, (http://uverseonline.att.net/sports/t.../rachael-flatt) and Lucy, a women's athletic wear company (http://www.lucy.com/Lucy-Profiles/LI...efault,pg.html).

    It would be so awesome if Meryl and Charlie to on DWTS. That would be fun to see them compete with one another.

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    skating philosopher
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    Or if you want to look at an example of someone who is a brand, it's Yuna Kim.

    Forbes Korea has ranked her No. 5 on its 40 richest celebrities. She is only outranked by four very popular K-Pop music groups/artist. And she's the richest single non-music artist person on that list. (http://www.allkpop.com/2012/02/forbe...ities-of-korea)

    Granted, she doesn't have the same brand recognition in the U.S, but other agents could still learn from her teams strategy. Heck, the fact she's No. 5 when she's taken the year off from skating, speaks well to her brand.

    Her team has done a great job marketing her beauty. Here's one of her recent commercials, for an air conditioner company: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMpGVN8_9tU
    Last edited by Mrs. P; 03-10-2012 at 03:43 PM.

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    The problem is is that times have changed and we are a socially media driven world that is obsessed with celebrities. Most people don't know who any figure skaters actually are, let alone care (makes me sad). There always needs to be drama and mayhem going on, even if it's manufactured; would anyone watch the Kardashians, who are famous for basically doing NOTHING, if there wasn't always the perpetual drama that they make follow them around?
    It's proven that magazines sell more when there is a celeb on the cover, especially one that has recently been in the news (be it good or bad reasons); models can't even get covers anymore and their exclusive cosmetics contracts, which are the holy grail of modelling, are drying up as well due to the fact that 'we' want to see someone famous there instead of somebody who's considered unknown and unexciting. When has figure skating been popular? When Kerrigan was attacked in an Olympic year, when there are outrageous judging scandals and when one is arrested? PR people need stories and people to capitalize on and skaters just aren't cutting it and their handlers need to realize this and find PR people specialized enough to get them where they need to be. But that is easier said than done. What about in Asia? Can't their marketers see that FS is more popular there and get them work and exposure? We also have to keep in mind that they are in a sport where costumes are worn so they cannot advertise as much as other sports (think skiers, race car drivers). Also, it seems, whether or not it's fake, that most skaters are too nice. Maybe we need a cocky jerk to come and shake things up, you have to admit, Plushenko (not saying he's a jerk) totally exudes confidence with his very cocky "I must break you" demeanour. These are just some thoughts off the top of my head, as someone who is exposed to the beauty and advertising industry. I'm sure I'm missing quite a bit more of the big picture.

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