I haven't read what the dollar amount is, but Washington Capitals' superstar, Alex Ovechkin, has stepped away from the CCM sponsorhip (after almost 6 years) and signed on board, long-term, with NIKE.
"Alex is going to be supporting all of the products that Nike makes — apparel, footwear, performance apparel, casual wear, accessories and other elements of the Nike family of products. So he will be wearing their performance product when he’s playing and practicing, when he’s training and in his lifestyle."
Brilliant. Ovechkin's IMG agent, David Abrutyn, really tickled my funny bone with this next statement --
"For those that are familiar with Nike, they’ve obviously supported many of the greatest champions in the history of sport. Whether it’s Jordan or Jeter or Sampras or Federer or Sharapova. The list goes on and on and on."
Yes, David. That's what happens when a multi-billion dollar worldwide corporation throws so much money at ONE athlete that if the DOW Jones had a sphincter....it'd pulsate like a strobe light.
Don't let your woody pitch too big of a denim tent, Dave, we all know NIKE had to get a piece of the NHL pie. Reebok's already force feeding their pride and joy, Sid The Kid, down our throats, it was only a matter of time before his so-called "rival" added his John Hancock on a NIKE contract.
So what does this all mean?
The manifested "Crosby vs Ovechkin" rivalry got a million times worse. Get ready, America, because if you thought the NHL was over-marketing these two stars before.....NIKE makes enough revenue to pump this crap into our drinking water.
Ovechkin will be everywhere. EVERYWHERE.
It may have been a joke then, but THIS will literally happen. And shit like THIS, only it won't be commercials. It'll be during sporting broadcasts. Alex's head will scramble on to the screen, blocking the game you're trying to watch, and he'll start screaming, "Nike SWOOSH! Nike SWOOSH!," then disappear. We'll look around the room, in our closets and under our beds at night hoping this creepy caveman's face isn't protruding into our souls like a nightmare that seemed "so real."
NIKE will strike up some sort of deal with the NHL agreeing to endorse Ovechkin's image even more. And the NHL will do it. They're a growing market and gaining demographic faster than they ever have.
Reebok will respond with a similar deal.
It'll be an arms race.
When the NHL penetrates the Reality TV census, we'll get cute nicknames for the rivalry like Crosvechkin, Ovesby, Sidnex.....the nightmare goes on and on.
Grade schoolers will wear their NIKE branded "Team Ovechkin" tee shirts, lunch boxes, and back packs to class. Reebok will one-up NIKE by sponsoring the whole goddamn school's cafeteria. The lunch ladies' hair nets will depict the number 87 and serve you The Kid Slushies, Reebok Hot Dogs, Sloppy Crosbies and Root Beer Penguin Floats.
They'll be gods to our offspring.
Way to go, NIKE.