When to say when

pail110460Eli Manning of the New York Giants and David Wright of the New York Mets have many things in common:
– Each is captain of his respective team.
– Each enjoyed amazing success earlier in his career.
– Each is an All-American boy next door, feel good kind of guy.
– Each has fallen on hard times.
– Each is a spokesperson for multiple sponsors.
And, the last point is the one in question.

How long should a brand stick with a spokesperson who is no longer synonymous with excellence? When does a consumer ignore a product hawked by a has-been? In other words, when should a marketer say when?

David Wright is a mere shadow of his former self. And, Eli Manning is more inconsistent than President Obama’s foreign policy. Yet, both still seem to have more endorsements than the average prescription medication has side effects.

In Eli’s case, one sees him plugging Toyota SUV’s (and other marketers’ wares) every nanosecond on the nanosecond.

All of which would make me think long and hard about Eli’s future as a spokesperson were I calling the shots at Toyota. When does a nice guy who’s fallen on hard times need to be jettisoned? When does a player’s mediocrity transfer over to that of the product or service he endorses?

I admire loyalty as much as the next person, but I suggest any brand associated with Messrs. Wright and Manning place them on waivers.

All’s fair in love, war and marketing. And I, for one, think it’s high time advertisers cut the cord with these particular low-level performers.
What do you think?

5 thoughts on “When to say when

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  2. Great topic, but I disagree. I don’t think it matters all that much, provided that the athlete’s personal reputation appears to squeaky clean. The association with Alpha Jockdom seems to be enough for consumers. Tim Tebow didn’t get his new SEC Network deal from those illustrious two years in the NFL.

    Just focusing on NY teams, how many ongoing endorsement deals did Joe Namath, Willie Mays, Phil Esposito, 85% of the 1969 Mets, Mickey Mantle and many others continue to have long past their glory days? I’m not talking about retirement. I mean when they were still playing but their teams were in the basement, they were plagued by injuries, and sometimes by other off-field demons we didn’t know about back then.

  3. No argument that these guys are squeeky clean, Jenny. But, their on-the-field performance has to be stirring some sort of second guessing among the advertising community as to their “spokesperson worthiness.”

  4. I agree, however form the Advertisers point of view these individuals do have a substantial fan base and have the ideal public persona free from any bad press or negative media coverage than some of the younger athletes.

  5. Advertisers should have more than one spokesperson so they don’t have all their eggs in one basket because once the “egg” turns rotten, it will leave a foul smell. That’s why Nike has more than one and when things go bad as they have with Baltimore’s Ray Rice and Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson, they cut their ties and still have others in the stable. While players such as Manning and Wright’s on-field performances have tumbled, Madison Avenue types have to determine what impact they’ve made. Look at Derek Jeter of the Yankees. He hasn’t had a hit in a week or so.