Alex Ovechkin's Hair Cuttery Day
"So why, with the money you make as a professional hockey player...why would you go to Hair Cuttery?" Alex Ovechkin was asked during the video portion of his day of Hair Cuttery promotional work.
"I don't know," Ovechkin answered. "Because I don't have lot of places to go."
The interviewer asked him to describe his preferred Hair Cuttery cut.
"I just go to her and I say, 'Short,' " he explained, as about three dozen onlookers giggled.
The chain of hair shops will soon launch a Hair Cuttery-Ovechkin microsite at OvieStyle.com; Ovechkin was asked how to describe his own sense of style.
"Easy style," he said. "No pressure. I'm not model."
Finally, a reporter re-asked Ovechkin the key question of the day: why, with dollar bills spilling out of his pockets, did he go to the Ballston Commons Hair Cuttery last year, leading Ted Leonsis to blog about it, leading the Washington Post to publish an item, leading to this sponsorship deal.
"I can't remember what I was thinking," Ovechkin said. "I just go to the mall after practice because I have big hair."
If virtually everyone at today's shoot seemed more intrigued by the Ovechkin ad campaign than the slightly impatient Ovechkin, well, that might have been the case. Ovie has other sponsorship deals--his clothing line with CCM, various hockey accessories with Elite Hockey, a deal with Hype Energy Drink and a one-time arrangement with Scotiabank, with several more deals on the way--but considering he's the best player in the NHL, it struck me as a fairly modest sponsorship portfolio.
"It wasn't really his goal, to be the face of a company," said his business manager, Konstantin Selinevich. "He's never been somebody who wanted to be a poster boy, a walking billboard. All he cares about is family and playing hockey."
"I don't like when people call me star or superstar," Ovechkin said while the PR cameras were running. "I don't like that. I just play hockey. That's it."
Still, after marketing agent Bruce J. Zalbe pointed out that Ovechkin had already given Hair Cuttery his implied endorsement in the Post item and that he might as well profit from the situation, Ovechkin signed up for this deal, which will feature ads on Metrobuses, and Metrobus shelters, a mobile billboard outside Caps games and slogans like "Alexander The Great Haircut" and "Most Valuable Hair."
So on this day he was a poster boy during a shoot at TBC Advertising and Public Relations's Fells Point studio, a former oyster packing house. He had his hair trimmed by Sharon So, the creative director of Hair Cuttery's parent company, who described his look as the "beach/surfer look" and said his longer bangs compliment his facial features. He posed for photos while So periodically used chopsticks to touch up his look.
He followed the directions of the creative team; "Tough! Sexy! Mean!" shouted out TBC Chairman and Creative Director Allan Charles. "I'm just throwing words out," he joked. Ovechkin told the promotional camera that he doesn't understand the NFL, doesn't like politicians and doesn't care what music he listens to, and he told reporters that he would rush back to Ballston to watch the end of the Caps rookies game as soon as he was done.
During a break, I asked him what sort of hair style he would be employing this season.
"Pink and red," he said. "When we go to the playoffs, pink and red."
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