Eastern Motors targets McNabb
Because I'm nothing if not responsive to my readers, I present this question from my weekly Tuesday chat:
What happened to the Eastern Motors commercials? I don't see them as much anymore. It's time for them to get Strasburg, Ovie, and Wall together in a ultimate odd couple commercial. Please investigate.
So I called Robert Bassam, the founder and CEO, to ask what he thought about D.C.'s new star power.
"Donovan is absolutely a target," Bassam said. "He's been driving one of our cars from Day One, but he's not absolutely signed yet. Donovan, Brian Orakpo and Anquan Boldin are three targeted individuals."
I asked about John Wall, who seemed like a natural fit if he arrives in D.C.
"I've got my eye on the pitcher," Bassam responded. "That guy's gonna be a superstar for a while. I've not had as much success marketing basketball players and being able to maintain basketball players' personalities and needs as I've had with football players I don't know why that is, but basketball players are harder to sort of maintain."
(Incidentally, Drew Storen was on with LaVar and Dukes last week, and they asked him to rank the D.C. stars.
"You know, I feel like I see the most Ovechkin jerseys right now," he said. "The most famous? You've got to go with McNabb, I would say. In this market you would say Ovechkin, but I would say nationally, McNabb probably has better name recognition.")
Of course, Easterns did have a deal with Ovechkin, but that deal expired, and in the meantime Oveckhin signed with IMG, which didn't opt to continue the Easterns relationship. Bassam has done some print ads with Ryan Zimmerman, but has never done a TV ad with a baseball player before. He's already imagining a "who throws better" campaign with McNabb and Strasburg.
"I think he's a future superstar for a very long time," he said of Strasburg. "I think he's going to be fantastic."
McNabb has a whole team of advisers helping him pursue sponsorship opportunities, but Bassam runs a simple operation: you spend a few hours at a commercial shoot, and in exchange you get use of an Eastern cars and various other VIP car perks. His primary focus has been on the offensive side of the ball, and he already has his other Redskins' athletes working on McNabb. He also will continue to sponsor the Redskins Rides car show. So of all the newcomers, it seems McNabb is the best bet to be telling you about how your job is your credit in the near future.
"The Redskins just lead the popularity in Washington sports by miles," Bassam said. "The Redskins are so high up there, and other sports rank so far behind in second and third place."
(LaVar and Dukes also asked Storen about where the Nats rank locally.
"I would say that even though there's all the other hype going on with all the other teams around here, and the great history of the Redskins, and just that kind of fan base, I really feel like the excitement created by Strasburg, created with veterans like Pudge and Zim, that there is gonna be a bigger baseball market here," Storen said. "As the excitement of the winning and Strasburg coming here [grows], it's gonna be pretty cool. And you'll be surprised how many people are gonna come out to see Strasburg. I mean, everybody expects it, but it's a whole 'nother level from what you expect.")
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