Shaun White is known for a lot of thing – his collection of Olympic medals, his snowboarding chops, his hair – but driving isn’t one of them. In fact, he admits he’s pretty terrible at it.
So the two-time gold medalist might seem an odd choice to endorse BFGoodrich Tires. But the tire company is using White to inject a little youth and enthusiasm into its advertising, and to show that its tires can help anyone “upgrade” his or her performance.
“He’s a world-class athlete who’s all about demonstrating his extreme capabilities and having fun,” said Jamey Fish, director of consumer experience for BFGoodrich. “That’s very much in line with the BFGoodrich essence.”
Besides, “he likes cars and has a couple of real good ones, like a Lamborghini and a ’66 Ford Mustang,” Fish continued, “but he’s also the first to admit he’s not the greatest driver.”
To help White learn, BFGoodrich recruited two of its other celebrity spokesmen – Samuel Hubinette, Formula Drift champion and X Games medalist, and Lars Wolfe, a Rally America competitor – to provide White with some extreme driving lessons. Those lessons are being captured on Webisodes that B.F. Goodrich is uploading to its own site, its Facebook fan page and its YouTube channel. The campaign officially kicked off last week at the ESPN Winter X Games 15 in Aspen, which BFGoodrich is co-sponsoring.
BFGoodrich signed White to a multiyear deal, though Fish couldn’t say just how many Webisodes will be produced. “We haven’t ruled out anything,” he said. “We just want Shaun to get behind the wheel of these cars and see where it takes him.”
The campaign, courtesy of The Martin Agency in Richmond, Va. also consists of 15-second TV promos running on ESPN and display ads online, both of which direct viewers to the mini-site. Print ads will run in ESPN Magazine. Point-of-sale items featuring White will also appear at BFGoodrich dealers. The tag line for the campaign is “Upgrade to BFGoodrich.”
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