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Sports "Endorsement Of The Week": A Real One This Time?

Thursday, 2 Oct 2008 | 1:07 PM ET
Alexander Ovechkin
TBC Advertising
Alexander Ovechkin

When the world's richest athletes sign endorsement deals, they are usually with blue chip companies. The thinking is always to do an advertisement or commercial that aligns with a certain class of company.

But I am absolutely loving the latest endorsement deal that's been consummated. Alexander Ovechkin, who signed a 13-year, $124 million with the Washington Capitals in January, has signed a deal with the Hair Cuttery.

If Ovechkin went with the norm, he would have signed a deal with a hair cutting chain that cost $500 a haircut. But the league MVP, whose contract is the richest in league history, gets his haircuts at a place that charges $14 for the complete deal.

If you're scoring at home, the 24-year-old Russian will earn $9 million next year. That's $109,756 per game, $1,829 per minute and $30.48 per second. That all means that Ovechkin pays for his haircut in roughly a half second of a game.

The greatest part about this endorsement is it's so counterintuitive that it really works. This deal was made, unlike most endorsements, after the company had heard that Ovechkin really used their service. But even if you didn't know that you'd have to conclude that this was real because it would be pretty hard to fake this.

Alexander Ovechkin
TBC Advertising
Alexander Ovechkin

I've had it with the lack of accountability in the sports endorsement world. A couple days ago, I bumped into one of the world's most well known athletes. I'm going to save him the embarrassment of mentioning his name, but he wasn't wearing the brand of watch that he endorses. So I love that not only did this deal get done, but the company is specifically mentioning the specific chain he frequents (the one in the Ballston Common Mall, which is located next to the Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington, Va., where the team trains).

The only other thing I'd want is for the Hair Cuttery to advertise when Ovechkin will get his haircuts. I bet many fans would love to watch his hair getting cut and it would get the consumer closer to the cutting chair.

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The advertising will be rolled out this month on the sides of buses in Washington D.C., on Internet banner ads and on a microsite, which will launch next week. The creative was handled by TBC Advertising & Public Relations in Baltimore.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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