Octagon First Call


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Our team helps brands, their agencies and nonprofit organizations by assessing the business value of celebrities, negotiating smart partnerships and activating each program. We provide fast and accurate information and recommend talent based on many factors including their relevance, points of differentiation and cost. The results of our work are seen as television commercials, webisodes, publicity programs, YouTube posts, celebrity seeding, social media » Read More

Super Bowl

Super Bowl XLVI Twitter Guide

As the Super Bowl week activities get underway this week, we wanted to share our list of the most valuable Super Bowl XLVI tweeters. Join in on the conversation using one of the hashtags below and be sure to check back here next Monday as we re-cap the full week of celebrity-brand deals, Super Bowl commercials, celebrity appearances, parties and more....
Trey Wingo (@wingoz) - NFL Live Host
Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) - CNBC Sports Business Reporter
Peter King (@SI_PeterKing) - Sports Illustrated NFL Writer
Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) - Sports Illustrated Reporter
Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) - ESPN NFL Insider
Bill Hofheimer (@bhofheimer_espn) - ESPN NFL PR Guy
John Ourand (@ourand_sbj) - Media Reporter, Sports Business Journal
Michael McCarthy (@mmccarthyusat)
Mike Pereira @mikepereira– Rules analyst at FOX Sports and former VP of Officiating for the NFL
Barry Janoff (@barryjanoff) - Editor, Big Lead Sports
Tim Nudd (@nudd) - Editor, AdWeek/AdFreak
Dave Dameshek (@Dameshek) - Contributer, NFL.com
Elliot Harrison (@Harrison_NFL) - Contributer, NFL.com LIVE
Michael Irvin (@michaelirvin88) - Analyst, NFL Network
Shannon Sharpe  (@ShannonSharpe) - CBS NFL Analyst
Scott Hanson (@ScottHanson) - NFL Network Analyst
Dan Patrick Show (@dpshow
Cathy Kightlinger (@ckightlinger) - Columnist, Talk of Our Town, Indianapolis Star
Bruce Horovitz (@brucehorovitz) - Reporter, USA Today Money Section
Jason Romano (@jasonromano) - Sr. Talent Producer, ESPN
Michele Steele (@michelesteele) - Sports business journalist, ESPN
Sports Business Journal/Daily (@SBJSBD)
NBC Sports (@NBCSports)
Adweek (@adweek)
Adfreak (@AdFreak)
AdAge (@AdAge)
Kelly Clarkson (@kelly_clarkson) - Clarkson will be singing the national anthem at Super Bowl XLVI
Adriana Lima (@AdrianaLima) - Lima stars in commercial sports for Kia and one other brand
Apolo Ohno (@ApoloOhno) - Ohno will appear in a Century21 spot, alongside Donald Trump and Deion Sanders
John Stamos (@JohnStamos) - Stamos will appear in a Super Bowl spot for yogurt giant, Dannon
Deion Sanders (@DeionSanders) - Sanders will appear in a Super Bowl spot for Century21
Clay Matthews, Jr. (@ClayMatthews52) - Matthews will be on site for a number of appearances with brands
 @VH1Pepsi Super Bowl XLVI Fan Jam Artists:
Gym Class Heroes (@GymClassHeroes)
B.o.B (@bobatl)
All American Rejects (@therejects)
Tyson Ritter (@tysonritter)
Nickolas Wheeler (@nickolaswheeler)
Larry Hernandez (@larryhernandez1)
Alejadra Guzman (@Al3jandraGuzman)
Bridgestone (@Bridgestone)
Pepsi (@pepsi)
Chevrolet (@chevrolet)
Verizon Wireless USA (@VerizonWireless)
Gatorade (@Gatorade)
**Adam Tanielian (@adamtanielian) - A must-follow for all Gatorade news
Volkswagen USA (@VW)
Kia Motors America (@Kia)
Lexus (@Lexus)
Century 21 (@CENTURY21)
H&M (@hmusa)
Audi (@Audi)
Career Builder (@CareerBuilder)
Cars.com (@Cars_com)
Chrysler Autos (@ChryslerAutos)
E*TRADE Baby (@etradebaby)
General Motors (@GM)
GoDaddy.com (@GoDaddy)
Honda (@Honda)
Hyundai USA (@Hyundai)
Mars, Incorporated (@MarsGlobal)
My M&M’s (@MyMMscom)
Toyota USA (@Toyota)
Dannon (@Dannon)
Doritos (@DoritosUSA)
Super Bowl (via NFL) @SuperBowl
 Indianapolis Super Bowl Host Committee @SuperBowl2012
McKenze Rogers (@IndySBmckenze) – Marketing and Communications Coordinator for SB Host Committee
Patriots @Patriots
Giants @Giants
Giants Players
January 30, 2012 | Comments: 0

6 Factors to Consider when Using Talent at the Super Bowl

- Money. You don’t need to overpay for talent at the Super Bowl. The difference between A, B and C list celebrities is minimized this specific week because of the attention of all fans and willingness of the media to have all athletes and celebrities on their air. Friday media time is typically reserved for more A-listers as that is when the movie studios will fly in their actors to promote the upcoming movie.

- Day of Week. Consider using your brand’s endorsee early in the week before there is “brand saturation” or even the Monday after the Game when everyone is still listening to the radio, reading results online or watching TV (Monday post-Super Bowl is a hidden gem for brands if your talent has the credentials to discuss the Game the night before).

- Exclusivity. Make sure you have language in your contract ensuring that your promotional time is the athlete/celebrity’s first activities during Super Bowl week (you can’t afford to be cannibalized by another brand’s media day just a few days before your own media day).

- Hospitality. Events at the Super Bowl always run late. Make sure your athlete/coach does not have an appearance immediately following yours with a “hard out”.

- Autographs. Make sure you get extra personalized items. When you return from the Game and share stories; other clients and C-level executives get jealous. Have a surprise gift for them.

- Time of  Day. Everyone stays out late at dinners and parties. Remember that when scheduling morning activities – you don’t want the “type” of athlete that will be at a club until 3:00am when you have media at 6:00am. Same goes for early morning meet-and-greets (you want folks that are awake and want to engage with customers/fans).

January 25, 2012 | Comments: 0

The Voice Lands Post-Super Bowl Spot

NBC announced today that its hit series The Voice will get one of the most coveted spots in television: the one just after the Super Bowl. A special one-hour episode will air after NBC’s coverage of Super Bowl XLVI (that is if there is one.)

We’ve talked a lot about The Voice since its premiere – both with industry experts and the role country music has played on recent reality shows – crediting its success to the judging panel (Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton.) As the Super Bowl is by far the most watched program on television, landing this spot speaks to NBC’s confidence in the show and its charismatic cast. And, marketers have taken note – last month alone fan

The Voice Judges - Cee Lo Green, Christina Aguilera, Adam Levine and Blake Shelton

 favorite Cee Lo Green partnered with both Duracell to remake his hit song “Forget You” into “Thank You” as a tribute to volunteer firefighters, and Absolut Vodka to be featured in their “A day in the life of Absolut” campaign.

In a statement, NBC chairman Bob Greenblatt said, "There is no better showcase on television than to follow the Super Bowl, and we believe The Voice is deserving of such high-profile exposure. The attention grabbing blind audition phase of The Voice has mass appeal and will fittingly team up with the biggest sporting event of the year."

With the networks support of the show, we expect to see the rest of the judges and host Carson Daly in advertising and PR campaigns as season one wraps up later this summer and the second season picks back up mid-season next year.

May 31, 2011 | Comments: 0

Ads at the Oscars: Sold Out, Social and with Celebrity

This Sunday the 83rd Annual Academy Awards will host the best and brightest of Hollywood to recognize and celebrate the year's films. Referred to as the "Super Bowl" of the entertainment world, we're keeping an eye on this year's advertisers.

Two weeks ago, ABC announced that they had sold the full inventory of spots at a higher rate than the previous two years.  At a cool 1.7 million per 30-second spot, brands are hoping to attract some of the same eyeballs that set a viewership record at this year's Super Bowl. That record reflects a trend of the past year:  live "big television" events have larger audiences and higher ratings.

One reason is the social way that consumers are watching these events - logged into Facebook and Twitter. In 2011, marketers hope to gain considerable attention from traditional television spots as well as leveraging social media platforms.  Check out our Ultimate #Oscars Social Media Guide to stay up to date leading up to and during the show.
The voice of Hyundai, Jeff Bridges, with his 2010 Oscar.

The voice of Hyundai, Jeff Bridges, with his 2010 Oscar.

Advertisers including JC Penney, AT&T, Coca-Cola (Diet Coke spot), Sprint, Procter & Gamble, Hyundai, Nokia, Amazon.com, Anheuser-Busch, McDonald's and Best Buy have bought spots in this year's telecast. Dove and LivingSocial.com, have announced new campaigns while others like Anheuser-Busch (Stella Artois featuring Adrien Brody) and Best Buy (Justin Bieber, Ozzy Osbourne) will likely run spots that debuted in the Super Bowl. Exclusive auto advertiser, Hyundai, is back again and like last year, will have to comply with the Academy's rules surrounding ads and nominees - Best Actor nominee Jeff Bridges (True Grit) has been Hyundai's voiceover talent for four years running and was featured in the Super Bowl.

After launching a new brand tagline last year, JC Penney will again take a new approach to rebrand itself in 2011 with a new company logo and spring campaign. Introducing itself as "JCP," the retail giant will highlight collections from Cindy Crawford, Liz Claiborne and MNG by Mango. JCP has been the exclusive retail sponsor of the Oscars for the last 10 years.

90210 actress and Dancing With the Stars alum Jennie Garth will appear for Dove, who will run two commercials. The spots will also promote a contest that will offer the winner a chance to perform during a commercial breakof the season finale of DWTS.  As we've said before, the influence of the DWTS brand is undeniable. Garth, like many other castmembers, launched themselves back into relevancy - and caught the eyes of marketers. Be sure to check back this Monday, February 28, for a full list of the newest DWTS cast and our take on their marketing futures.

Last year, the number of celebrities in ads dropped. However, if the Super Bowl and Grammys are any indication - we expect to see a rise in celebrity appearances. At the Grammys in particular, nearly one in every four advertisements featured a celebrity.

With a similar fan base and audience, brands at the Oscars are sure to tap into the star power.  We already know that the American Cancer Society will be running a new spot featuring Celine Dion, and Venus will be showing two spots featuring Jennifer Lopez. With the influx of celebrity/brand partnership seen at this year’s earlier events, we expect to see more celebrity spots return for Hollywood’s big night.

The Oscars will run this Sunday, February 27 at 8pm ET on ABC. See a complete list of nominees here and check back on Monday for our recap of the evening, including a list of winners and celebrity ads.

February 24, 2011 | Comments: 0

Our Q&A with Super Bowl’s Breakout Star: Max Page

It's the Super Bowl ad everyone is talking about - the Volkswagen commercial where a miniature Darth Vader attempts to use the Force. Six-year-old Max Page became one of the breakout stars from last Sunday night, before anyone had seen his face or knew who was behind the Darth Vader mask.

In a smart move extending the public's captivation with this pint-sized star beyond Super Bowl Sunday, Max was unmasked to the public on Monday's Today Show. He isn't new to the business, having appeared in commercials for Walgreens, Clear Channel and regularly on the CBS soap opera The Young and the Restless. But, will he be the next Drew Barrymore, Dylan & Cole Sprouse, or Dakota Fanning?

We'll be interested to see where his career takes him. Until then, we had the chance to ask Max these questions:

  • Tell us about getting hired: Lance Acord (the director) asked me to do different things like act shocked, because the dad was turning on the car and surprising me. So I did all this stuff that they wanted me to do. And, then they picked 16 kids, then I got picked to be in the group of three. And, then I got it. But only if I had good behavior, so it's good I had good behavior.
  • What was your favorite part of the commercial?  Turning around and kicking the dryer (it's seen in the blooper reel - see below.)
  • How long did the commercial take?  Two days.
  • Do you have anymore commercials coming up?  I have a call back for Trident and Wal-Mart.
  • What grade are you in?  Kindergarten.
  • What is your favorite thing to do in school?  Soccer!
  • How old were you when you did your first acting job?  Three. I was Roger in Grease. It was fun.

February 11, 2011 | Comments: 0

Super Bowl XLV

From commercials to celebrities, parties to most valuable players, Super Box XLV has dominated conversations across the sport and marketing worlds for the past week - and we kept a pulse on it all.

In the week leading up to the big game an unexpected storyline dominated headlines: inclement weather. Despite the ice and snow, brands fought aggressively to differentiate themselves - be it a cause marketing program or consumer product.

Check out our comprehensive recap on what brands, athletes and celebrities were doing in Dallas, despite the ice and snow:

NFL Stars Past and Present

Mike & Mike talk to Larry Fitzgerald about his Target partnership (after being gifted with an array of gifts ranging from Herradura Tequila to Snickers from previous guests)

ESPN's Mike & Mike in the Morning served again as a go-to platform for brand messages - delivered by NFL greats, both past and present.

Two members of the 2010 NFL Hall of Fame class (and DWTS alums) were very active this past week: Jerry Rice promoted Proctor & Gamble’s Take it to the House program on Radio Row and across Facebook and Twitter, and Emmitt Smith for Herradura Tequila (with a well placed Octagon shout out on both the Dan Patrick Show and Mike & Mike). Each also participated in Hall of Fame activities throughout the weekend honoring them.

Active NFL players who got in on the action include Osi Umenyiora for 5 Hour Energy, Mark Sanchez for Degree for Men, Sam Bradford for  Axe hair products, Eli Manning for Gatorade and the Sports Science Institute, Ndamukong Suh for Subway, and Larry Fitzgerald with Target and the Heart of America Foundation.

Radio Row

Radio row also provided brands an opportunity to maximize exposure, as celebs and players alike made the rounds to promote various projects. Those who made appearances include:

  • Jersey Shore's "The Situation" for MTV/himself;
  • Olympian Apolo Ohno for a new commercial with Subway;
  • Jay Mohr pushed for DiGiorno to bring people together and break the Guiness World Record for most high-fives;
  • And, Brookly Decker and Adam Sandler to promote their latest movie, Just Go With It, also starring Jennifer Aniston and Nicole Kidman, which opens Feb. 11

Texan Hospitality

Marisa Miller runs her rout at the 5th Annual Direct TV Beach Bowl

Marisa Miller runs her route at the 5th Annual Direct TV Beach Bowl

Many brands took advantage of influencers being in town and hosted hospitality events throughout the week. On Saturday, Pepsi & Gatorade  hosted a dinner with Archie and Peyton Manning; MasterCard  utilized Jerome Bettis and SI's Peter King for a Sunday morning pre-game chalk talk; and Time Warner Cable got in on the action, hosting a chalk talk featuring ESPN's Trey Wingo. On Saturday, DirecTV hosted the 2011 Celebrity Beach Bowl featuring 30+ celebrities including: Josh Duhamel, Taylor Lautner, Jesse Palmer, Hayden Panettierre, and Matthew Morrison. The event also included a free Maroon 5 concert.
Other brands who activated events and parties included: Audi, BudLight, GQ, Grey Goose, and Axe. Each brand capitalized on engagement opportunities with their respective hot spots hosting parties each night. Here’s a look at who attended and performed.

What's Next

The Class of 2011 for the Pro Football Hall of Fame was announced, and two players sure to see their marketability rise are Marshall Faulk and Deion Sanders due to personal appearances, memorabilia and PR programs around the induction and enshrinement. We recommend both do DWTS, should the opportunity arise, as we have seen what it has done for other NFL greats, and the impact is undeniable.

It remains to be see, but we think the biggest winners to come out of last night will be Aaron Roders and Clay Matthews. Matthews already has a deals with Suave and Rodgers was featured in this year's God Milk? ad alongside Hines Ward. In today's USA Today, Rogers appears in his very own Got Milk? ad and Matthews appeared in his own one-page Suave ad. Rodgers will be featured in the classic "I'm going to Disney World" spots this week. Both Rogers and Matthews are sporting clean, good-guy images and with this epic Super Bowl win, look out for more endorsement deals in the coming months.

Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews celebrate as the 2011 Super Bowl Champions

Aaron Rodgers and Clay Matthews celebrate as the 2011 Super Bowl Champions

For a look at last night’s ads, check out our full overview here.

February 7, 2011 | Comments: 0

Super Bowl Special – February 2011

And, the Winners Are...

For those in the industry, competition between brands (and their commercials) often overshadows competition on the field - and the morning after, everyone wants to know who won. USA Today's annual Ad Meter , which measures ad success with second-by-second responses from a panel of viewers, had its first-ever tie. Both Doritos and Bud Light won the hearts of viewers with ads featuring dogs. No ad in the top 10 of the Ad Meter selections featured a celebrity (unless you count VW's Little Darth Vader ad featuring talented 6 -year-old Max Page who was a guest on The Today Show this morning).

Anticipating that viewers would turn to Twitter to share real-time reactions to commercials, Brand Bowl set out again to score and rank ads based on total number of tweets - containing hash tag #BrandBowl - and their positive or negative sentiments. (Ads are still being measured in real time).  Here are a few of the most buzzed about brands of right now - for better or worse:

  • VW: score of 140 with 3,943 total tweets, overwhelming positive (+19.4)
  • Chrysler: score of 127 with 3648 total tweets, mostly positive (+17.1)
  • Groupon: score of 81 with 2775 total tweets, mostly negative (-4.5)
  • Motorola: score of 59 with 1759 total tweets, mostly positive (+3.5)

First Call's Michael Jacobson (@MJ4030) joined fellow marketing and brand experts for a live roundtable discussion via Twitter, hosted by Sports Business Daily.  A summary of their conversation can be found in today's issue of The Daily (or you can follow the hash tag #SBDSB) - but in the end Chrysler and Volkswagen emerged as the clear winners.

Musicians Reigned the Night

Audi featured saxophonist Kenny G as a riot suppressor in their escape from "Old Luxury" prison spot. Audi says Kenny G was chosen for his "unmistakable music, whose songs and stylings brings the audience back to a certain era." The Black Eyed Peas appeared as cartoon versions of themselves in the commercial for Chatter.com, an online firm that allows colleagues to share files anywhere in the world with fellow employees. The spot aired just before the real Black Eyes Peas performed during the Half-Time Show. Eminem appeared in two commercials this year. In a spot for Lipton Brisk, he appears in claymation talking about being "asked to do commercials all the time." Set to the rapper's "Lose Yourself," his spot for Chrysler served as both a tribute to Detroit's past and a look to the future in introducing the Chrysler 200. Two-time U.S. Champion figure-skater Alissa Czisny, a member of the Detroit Skating Club, was also featured in the spot.

Country musician Faith Hill starred in a spot for Teleflora titled "Help Me Faith." The commercial takes place in a recording studio, with Hill offering advice to a young sound engineer who is sending a Teleflora bouquet to his girlfriend for Valentine's Day. Diddy loses his silver Mercedes-Benz in a spot for the car company and its new futuristic Mercedes-Benz Biome, which isn't expected to hit the road until 2015. Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne joined forces with teen-star Justin Bieber as they demonstrated the progression of technology from 3G mobile phones to 4G and even 6G for Best Buy. The cast of Glee starred in a new commercial for Chevrolet that aired during the post-Super Bowl episode of the series. The ad, which features Sue Sylvester telling the Glee club that she has booked them for a commercial, was teased during the actual game.

Sex Sells

Go Daddy once again went for risqué with two spots featuring their spokeswoman racecar driver Danica Patrick. Patrick was joined by television personality Joan Rivers, and fitness trainer and The Biggest Loser star Jillian Michaels as the new Go Daddy girls. Reality star Kim Kardashian flirted her way through Skeckers Super Bowl spot touting the message that you can break up with your personal trainer if you wear Skechers Shape-Ups. In their Super Bowl advertising debut, Stella Artois looked to Oscar-winning actor Adrien Brody. Brody appears to be serenading a group of women with a smooth, classy song. Only instead it turns out that he is actually singing to a glass of Stella Artois.

Unmistakable Voices and Faces

Oscar-winning actor Jeff Bridges continued his voiceover work for Hyundai, who featured three in-game commercials in its fourth consecutive year of Super Bowl advertising. Also doing voiceover work for Super Bowl ads were Tim Allen for Chevrolet and Jon Hamm for Mercedes-Benz. Trying to recreate the magic of Betty White's commercial last year, comedic legends Roseanne Barr and Richard Lewis appeared in Snickers' ad titled "Logging." The campaign will also include a series of print and digital ads that will feature the two stars. In the most controversial spot of the night, actor Timothy Hutton deplored the troubles of Tibetan culture while touting Groupon. Groupon's three Super Bowl ads were set to the same premise: saving something endangered, and a few bucks. The NFL aired a 60-second spot, titled "American Family," which featured over 40 actors who appeared on TV's most popular shows over the years, including The Brady Bunch, Cheers, Family Matters, Friends, Full House, Happy Days, Modern Family, Seinfeld, The Simpsons, South Park, and The Office, among others.

Re-Cap: First-ever LIVE #SuperBowlMkting Chat

First, a big thank you to all who participated! We loved the questions and back-and-forth. Here are some highlights of the chat:

 On what to expect from ads:

@david_schwab: Good question @BryanDRoth. You will see both; sex appeal & SM in SB ads. Creative always pushes envelope (but more SM) 

@david_schwab: @mikeschaffer The public loves animals, babies/kids (& celebrities). Expect a mixture on Sunday. #superbowlmkting

@david_schwab: @Sean_Flynn re: car advertising. I doubt celebrity dominates this category. There are 20+ car ads this yr. Incredible

@mandermu: @Sean_Flynn nothin' sells like the promise of the possibility of maybe seeing boobs. #godaddy

@david_schwab: creative & writing RT @lematthews5: @david_schwab What do you think are the elements of an effective Super Bowl ad?


On brands that will stand out:

@david_schwab: @paigekeffer I say Anheuser Busch wins ad meter (not a stretch). I expect 4 of top 10 to include celebrities in ads

@andi_bernal8: @david_schwab I'm seeing tons to Subway, Kardashian, Biebs, and avocado #superbowlmkting


Football related marketability:

@david_schwab: Thanks @mj4030. Aaron Rodgers = most mkting upside (because he has a clean slate right now). Expect 2+ natl deals next yr

@david_schwab: @kellia Steelers brand is more marketable than GB. True natl following. 10 to 1 in ppl on the streets here are Pitts fans


The Influence of Social Media:

@khenderick: @david_schwab Do you think ad's released prior to the game will help or hurt brand's in extending social conversation?

@david_schwab: @khenderick I like when brands release their ads prior. Max exposure. VW ad already has 6mm+ views in 48 hours. Worth $$

@khenderick: @david_schwab What about the dynamic of group experience and sharing at game-time? Will ads like VW's lose their luster?

@david_schwab: @khenderick If the ad is creative, you will still talk about it during the Game (even if released prior). Creative impt.

@david_schwab: @michaelschaffer I don't think showing ads in adv takes away from "1st time viewing". 100+mm people to reach during game.


One last thing to think about:

@david_schwab: Bingo RT @Michelle_Heng: Getting your ad publicly rejected by the Superbowl is just as close to getting your ad accepted #SuperBowlMkting


Again, thank you to all participants: mikeschaffer, Hy_ly, khudak11, khenderick, popstat, Sean_Flynn, mandermu, Michelle_Heng, viktor626, JenniferKeeneclementbryant, PuraVidaChris, Andi_Bernal8, LivitLuvit, brennie192, & TheSuddie.

February 4, 2011 | Comments: 0

Dancing With The (Marketing) Stars at Super Bowl XLV

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again – even giving them our inaugural Celebrity Publicist of the Year Award this past December - ABC’s Dancing with the Stars elevates the marketability of its contestants better than any show out there. Year after year, DWTS proves to be a marketing powerhouse, with contestants benefitting from the 20 million viewers per week.


Contestants use the platform to grow their fan bases, as well as launch themselves back into relevancy - such is the case with many current and former NFL superstars. They bring their existing fan base to the hit series and instantly gain a new demographic of fans – mostly women who are able to see a softer, playful side to the athlete that doesn’t get much publicity in the NFL.


For these NFL players, the DWTS marketing wave is following them to Super Bowl XLV in Dallas. Here’s what a few of them are up to:  


  • Jerry Rice  -  Since appearing on DWTS, Rice is often identified as a NFL Football Legend & Dancing with the Stars celebrity and has continued to market himself successfully. The San Francisco great is the co-host of “Late Hits” program on Sirius XM radio; he has appeared on Spike TV’s Pros versus Joes and NBC’s The Biggest Loser: Families (as a guest coach); and co-authored his second book Go Long: My Journey Beyond the Game and the Fame with Brian Curtis. Rice will be in Dallas continuing his role as the national spokesperson for Procter & Gamble’s sponsorship of the NFL. As a member of the 2010 Hall of Fame class, Rice will look to continue to capitalize on the DWTS platform beyond this year’s Super Bowl.


  • Chad Ochocinco Controversial and entertaining, Chad Ochocinco has kept himself in the public eye (despite playing for the pitiful Cincinnati Bengals). Following DWTS, Ochocinco created his own reality show on VH1: Ochocinco: The Ultimate Catch, launched at iPhone application entitled “Mad Chad,” partnered with Reebok for their Zigtech campaign, was featured on the cover of EA’s NFL Street 3, all while keeping up his own, original “news” network via Twitter: OCNN. At the Super Bowl, Ochocinco will make an appearance with NFL Network, and is touting a new Motorola Xoom while doing his own reporting for OCNN.


  • Emmitt Smith – As the winner of DWTS Season 3, Smith is a prime example of expanding his appeal beyond the football field through his participation on the show. The Hall of Famer inked deals with Just for Men, Good Feet, Hershey’s and National Pork Board, just to name a few, shortly after his successful run on the show. And, his marketability hasn’t slowed down even going into the ninth season post-win. With the Super Bowl on his home turf, Smith will be working radio row to support his latest partnership with Herradura Tequila.


  • Kurt Warner – Shortly after the retired two-time MVP quarterback appeared on DWTS, Warner signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Amway North America to promote Nutrilite brand of vitamins, sports drinks, protein bars and dietary supplements. This year, Warner is being featured in a national campaign with Duracell and the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to raise awareness for needs of volunteer firefighters. Warner won’t be in Dallas on Sunday, but with the campaign launching this week, Duracell is certainly looking to capitalize on Warner’s appeal during the Super Bowl.


  • Apolo Ohno – While not a football player, the Olympic speedskater will be taking advantage of the attention focused on Dallas this weekend. The Season 4 winner began his rise as a nationally recognized celebrity following his success on the show, and will be in town to promote his latest endorsement deal with Subway. A strong advocate for living an active and healthy lifestyle, Ohno’s commercial is set to release in the first quarter of 2011. Ohno has also partnered with a number of high profile brands in recent years including Vick’s, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Alaska Airlines, Omega, Oreo, and Got Milk?, among others.


I asked CNBC sports business reporter  Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) his thoughts on the five athletes; and he said he thinks the marketing order is (in terms of future financial potential in endorsements, television/reality, broadcasting, corporate speaking):


1.       Chad Ochocinco

2.       Apolo Ohno

3.       Emmitt Smith

4.       Kurt Warner

5.       Jerry Rice


Dancing with The Stars is set to announce the cast for Season 12 on February 28 during an episode of The Bachelor, with the new season premiering on March 21. We’ll keep you updated on the next round of stars and athletes looking to reinvent new and exciting brand-friendly images.