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Vince Young to save the NFL's image

Discussion in 'Football: NFL, College, High School' started by weslinder, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. weslinder

    weslinder Contributing Member

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    http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/30/business/media/30adco.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

    Mending a Bruised Image

    By STUART ELLIOTT
    Published: August 30, 2007

    In one spot, a father sits on the sofa with his young children, reading to them from a large book while a daughter nestles her head on his neck.

    In another, a man talks on the telephone to his mother — telling her “I love you” — then tells the camera that she encouraged him to play football as a child to keep him out of trouble.

    In a third, a man describes his goal of going to law school and talks about how hard he worked as a student at Notre Dame.

    The latest Hallmark campaign? No, the National Football League.

    Concerned by growing uneasiness among fans and marketers about athletes gone wild, the league is embarking on an effort to burnish its brand image by accentuating the positive aspects of the on- and off-field lives of its players.

    In a television and online campaign that is to begin today, the league and its advertising agency, BBDO Worldwide, are borrowing the playbook, so to speak, of industries like Big Oil and the big drug companies, which have relied on the magic of Madison Avenue to redeem their public images. The N.F.L.’s idea is to counter the outcry over the criminal behavior of some players — not by apologizing for the misdeeds of a few, but by shining a spotlight on what is presented as the good behavior of the many.

    “It’s as simple as this,” said Lisa Baird, senior vice president for marketing at the National Football League in New York. “We’re going to do everything necessary to protect the strength of our brand.”

    The past year has brought plenty for the league to want to neutralize. The news coverage of professional football has read more like a police blotter. This week, Michael Vick of the Atlanta Falcons pleaded guilty to a federal felony charge of conspiracy stemming from a dog-fighting kennel, while Lance Briggs of the Chicago Bears was charged with leaving the scene of an accident after crashing his Lamborghini sports car.

    The commercials feature five players — selected for their marquee names and clean-cut images — and are planned to run through the 2007-8 football season, appearing on television and on Web sites like nfl.com.

    The man reading to his daughters is Matt Hasselbeck of the Seattle Seahawks. The one who loves his mother is Willie McGinest of the Cleveland Browns, whose teammate, Brady Quinn, is the aspiring lawyer.

    In another spot, Vince Young of the Tennessee Titans discusses how all his rose tattoos are in honor of “the women in my life,” including his mother, sisters, nieces and a grandmother.

    “I’m trying to get another rose,” Mr. Young says, “for my other grandmother; I don’t want to upset her.”

    An agency executive who is an expert in football-related advertising said he approved of the league’s decision to eschew direct discussion of the problems given the challenges posed by the misbehavior of players like Mr. Vick.

    “When you’re directly addressing a particular issue, you run the risk of reminding people of that issue,” said Abe Novick, business development director at the Baltimore office of Euro RSCG Worldwide, who for many years conducted consumer surveys about Super Bowl commercials.

    By contrast, “if you keep the focus on the good the players do, people will realize there’s this whole other side to their behavior,” Mr. Novick said. “This humanizes them, and that’s a good thing.”

    Executives of the N.F.L. are taking additional steps beyond the campaign, which is to account for about a quarter of the consumer advertising the league will run during the coming season, which begins next Thursday. For instance, standards on player behavior are being tightened, and league security employees discussed issues like animal cruelty during the presentations made to players at preseason training camps.

    The origin of the campaign dates to January, Ms. Baird said, after discussions among league executives about player misconduct. Within the league, people were worried that “the misdeeds of a few” were starting to “represent the image of all 2,000,” she said.

    In research the league conducted, younger fans in particular, teenagers to age 24, said they were “interested in these stories” about misbehaving players, she added, “finding them and following them” in media that included the Internet.

    As the creative approach for the campaign took shape in the spring, Ms. Baird said, “we did give some thought” to a more direct discussion of player misbehavior, but the final decision was to have team members “talk about their families and themselves” as an alternate way to make the point about “the character of our players.”

    “I don’t want to be in a defensive mode with my brand,” Ms. Baird said. “We want to be proactive.”

    There are six commercials in the campaign. Mr. Hasselbeck appears in two, while Mr. Young, Mr. Quinn and Mr. McGinest appear in one each. A teammate of Mr. McGinest’s and Mr. Quinn’s on the Browns, Braylon Edwards, rounds out the roster.

    Mr. Edwards, in his spot, jokes that the football season needs to be 13 or 14 months long so players can train to “compete with the best of the best.”

    The players in the campaign were chosen after discussions by executives at the league and BBDO, part of the Omnicom Group, which began working on creative projects for the N.F.L. last year. Mr. Young’s commercial is being used to address the issue of tattoos on players, which some fans find off-putting.

    “It’s not one of my favorite things,” said Alfred Merrin, vice chairman and executive creative director at the BBDO New York office, “and culturally, it’s difficult for a lot of people to understand.”

    But after listening to Mr. Young describe what the tattoos meant to him, “it was a very moving moment,” Mr. Merrin said.

    “It is not a campaign to address the Michael Vicks of the world — it’s bigger than that,” Mr. Merrin said. “It’s about getting inside these guys and revealing something of their character, their values, what it takes to be in the N.F.L.”

    Football is as big an industry as some that manufacture products rather than players. Scores of giant marketers use N.F.L. players to represent their brands, among them Anheuser-Busch, Bank of America, FedEx, General Motors, Mars, Molson Coors, PepsiCo, SABMiller and Visa. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year on sponsorship deals, buying commercial time during games and promotions in stores.

    “Our consumers are passionate about their players and their teams,” said Ken Stickevers, vice president for marketing at the hearty soup group at the Campbell Soup Company, which has featured N.F.L. players in campaigns for its Chunky Soup line since 1997.

    “Of course we’re a bit concerned” about player misconduct, Mr. Stickevers said, “but it’s pretty isolated in the N.F.L. community.”

    The players the company uses in its campaigns, who include Mr. Hasselbeck, are “the kind of people we want to embody the brand,” he added, which is reinforced by Campbell’s asking them to take part in charitable work like hunger relief.

    At a time when some marketers may be questioning the value of associating with N.F.L. players, Campbell Soup is doubling down on its bet. Previous Chunky campaigns have featured three or four players a year; the ads for 2007-8, which begin running next Thursday, will use eight. The Chunky creative agency is Y&R Advertising, part of the Young & Rubicam Brands unit of the WPP Group.

    The risk of building an expensive campaign around a young athlete remains on the minds of many in advertising.

    “You hope your player doesn’t get into any bad situations,” said Steve O’Connell, executive creative director at a Philadelphia agency named Stick and Move, which is featuring Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles in a campaign for Glacéau Vitaminwater, sold by the Coca-Cola Company, that is centered on a Web site (mcnabbisback.com).

    Still, “I don’t think the bad apples have tarnished the sport,” Mr. O’Connell said, because many fans believe “nothing bad will happen with their favorite players.”

    When asked what would happen if one of the five players in the N.F.L. campaign were to get in trouble, Ms. Laird of the league answered swiftly.

    “I’d say we’d pull the ad,” she said.
     
  2. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    no way, he threw a punch at practice.
     
  3. DonnyMost

    DonnyMost not wrong
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    not just any punch, a LEADERSHIP PUNCH!
     
  4. ima_drummer2k

    ima_drummer2k Contributing Member

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    Gosh, I wonder how this thread will develop...



    :D
     
  5. Rocketman95

    Rocketman95 Hangout Boy

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    Very cool. I love VY the player/person, just wish he played for all but one of the other NFL teams.

    I wonder if the Brady Quinn crotch grab pics will make into the spot.
     
  6. Air Langhi

    Air Langhi Contributing Member

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    The nfl is full of thugs and I have no problem with that. I want to see good football not the good ol boys.
     
  7. thegary

    thegary Contributing Member

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    <object width="425" height="350"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/JYWAYLZWZBg"></param><param name="wmode" value="transparent"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/JYWAYLZWZBg" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" wmode="transparent" width="425" height="350"></embed></object>
     
  8. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    no see if you have kids you have to explain to your kid why people fight dogs, because your kid doesn't watch the news every day.

    seriously, I can understand both sides of the arguments, kids love these guys but its not as simple as these guys are thugs. professional sports has always been full of questionable characters. now with the money in sports the 24 hour 50 channel coverage anything little gets blown up and anything big becomes a national story. so there is a need to tame these things.
     
  9. MR. MEOWGI

    MR. MEOWGI Contributing Member

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    I thought athletes should not be seen as role models. :confused:
     
  10. updawg

    updawg Member

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    Vince is more than just an athlete
     
  11. surrender

    surrender Member

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    VY cured my herpes
     
  12. Jodegam

    Jodegam Member

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    Vince Young touched me in my naughty places but by the end I was grateful for the opportunity
     
  13. swilkins

    swilkins Contributing Member

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    Once again, I will spread my legs and stretch my testicles for they will receive a kicking like no other.

    Ready?

    1....2.....3.....

    CRUNCH!!!
     
  14. thegary

    thegary Contributing Member

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  15. tinman

    tinman Contributing Member
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    You can add Vince respects the legends of the game.


    http://www.sportingnews.com/nfl/articles/20070829/919372-p.html
    Moulds sees similarities in Favre, Young
    August 29, 2007

    Associated Press

    NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Eric Moulds sees some similarities between a fellow Mississippian, three-time MVP Brett Favre, and Vince Young, his new quarterback in Tennessee.

    "He takes control of the huddle, and he commands that huddle. Everybody knows you're going to go as far as that quarterback takes you," the veteran receiver said of Young, the NFL's Offensive Rookie of the Year.

    "Vince, everybody thinks he's young, he's not as vocal. He says a lot of things in the huddle. He takes control of the huddle. I haven't seen young guys like that. I've been playing in the league a long time. I've talked more in the huddle than a lot of quarterbacks I've played with did."

    On Thursday night, both will be on the same field as the Green Bay Packers (2-1) and Titans (2-1) wrap up the preseason against each other for the sixth straight year.

    Young has known Favre for a while thanks to his mentor Steve McNair and agent Bus Cook. Favre has kept track of Young through McNair, and the 16-year veteran's style both on and off the field is something Young admires and wants to emulate -- especially Favre's desire.

    "Sometimes it breaks down, and Brett Favre still finds a way to make the play happen, and that's the good thing about him," Young said.

    "His leadership role, the respect he has in the city and from his teammates. That's a good job. That's where I want to be at with my guys, my fans. I want to be in the same position as he is."


    Favre lasted one play last year, when Young started his first NFL game as a rookie. Favre tossed a short pass to Greg Jennings, who ran for 89 yards. Ahman Green scored on the next play, and Favre stayed on the sideline as Young notched a 35-21 victory.

    This time, Favre should play two or three series. He's working on his chemistry with new teammates such as rookie receiver James Jones, who ran the wrong route and fumbled last week in a 21-13 loss to Jacksonville.

    Favre said he knows Packers coach Mike McCarthy initially was against him playing longer.

    "But it gives me a chance to play with these younger guys because we're going to have to play together. I see each week and in practice improving from a chemistry standpoint and feeling more comfortable," Favre said.

    He won't have receiver Donald Driver, who's resting a sprained foot. His top two running backs also are out. Vernand Morency hurt his knee in the first practice of training camp, and rookie Brandon Jackson is recovering from a concussion suffered in practice Sunday.

    That gives Noah Herron the start, with rookie DeShawn Wynn, a seventh-round pick out of Florida, getting a chance at more playing time after missing most of training camp with an injured quadriceps.

    Green Bay also will sit starting cornerbacks Al Harris and Charles Woodson to stay healthy for the season opener Sept. 9 against Philadelphia.

    Atari Bigby should start at strong safety as he tries to beat out last year's starter Marquand Manuel, and McCarthy still has to decide between incumbent kicker Dave Rayner or rookie Mason Crosby, a sixth-round draft pick.

    "Once again, we've got a lot of questions I think we need to get answered," McCarthy said.

    The Titans have plenty of positions still to be decided themselves, and coach Jeff Fisher will play most of his starters a series into the third quarter as his dress rehearsal for the opener at Jacksonville.

    Middle linebacker, right cornerback, free safety and a starter opposite Moulds haven't been decided officially. They also would like to see newly signed veteran defensive tackle Corey Simon for a couple plays.

    "We've got some personnel decisions we've got to make and some lineup decisions we've got to make. Of course we've got to figure out how we're going to win this ballgame on Thursday night," Fisher said.

    Finishing up with a win would give Green Bay its best preseason record since 2002, when the Packers went 3-1 and won the NFC North with a 12-4 record.

    The Titans need as much momentum as possible after a 1-3 preseason stumbled into an 0-5 start last season. Young also has his own motivation.

    "It gives you a little more incentive in a game like this to go out and do well against a legend," Young said.
     
  16. swilkins

    swilkins Contributing Member

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    That's the one!!!

    thx
     
  17. GRENDEL

    GRENDEL Contributing Member

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  18. RocketMan Tex

    RocketMan Tex Contributing Member

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    Vince Young smiled, and Chuck Norris melted into a pile of fleshy goo.

    :D
     
  19. swilkins

    swilkins Contributing Member

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    I just want to add one more thing.

    If VY is so good, why does he need 9 others to help him save?

    I mean he is Vesus Yst.
     
  20. pgabriel

    pgabriel Educated Negro

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    why do non believers post in every thread
     

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