Guess Who is Representing Us?

Published in the July 2009 Issue July 2009 Brady L. Kay

Is anyone else surprised to see Jamie Lee Curtis doing commercials for a yogurt company these days? I knew our economy was in the toilet, but this was a real eye-opener for me. Celebrity endorsements are just part of the game I guess. If you can get a big name star to say they use a certain product or support a certain cause, you've got it made. Of course it can backfire on a company when they pay the big bucks, only to have their spokesperson flop or, in Brady Quinn's case, do nothing.

The former Notre Dame quarterback has only started three NFL games in two years yet has cashed in on big endorsement deals with Subway, Hummer, and.what's the name of that special energy drink of his? Discharge? He should be endorsing benches or headsets because he hasn't seen any real action in the NFL. He is set to become the most endorsed back-up player in the history of all sports.

Do you remember how many different endorsement deals Jim McMahon, the flamboyant leader of the Chicago Bears' 1986 Super Bowl championship team, had in his playing days? Well the one endorsement gig that he'll be best known for is when the geniuses at the Illinois Liquor Control Commission featured McMahon as part of a campaign to discourage sales to minors. He appeared on posters with a caption that read: "Don't Be a Punk and Get Drunk.'' How did the poster boy-literally-for drinking responsibility respond? By getting a DUI in Florida less than a year from when this campaign started. Ouch, it doesn't get a whole lot worse than when your spokesperson for responsible drinking says during a sobriety test, "I'm too drunk. You got me." That endorsement idea doesn't make a lot of sense to me, but I was happy to hear about a recent one with NFL legend Dan Marino that does.

After spending 17 seasons with the Miami Dolphins the NFL Hall of Fame quarterback obviously has a lot of pull with the state of Florida. He's a media personality, a philanthropist, a NutriSystem survivor and is now teaming up with the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary to help raise national awareness for recreational boating safety.

The guy still has a home in Florida and loves to boat; next to Michael Phelps I can't think of a more deserving guy to represent anything that has to do with water.

Starting this summer Marino will appear in a series of public service announcements promoting safe boating messages to the general public and this all started with the National Safe Boating Week kick-off event in Miami Beach last May.

"As we have seen all too frequently, a fun day out on the water can quickly turn dangerous," said Marino. "Taking a boating safety class will help boaters of all ages better handle emergencies."

Marino is a class act and he's more than a believable spokesperson to represent the boating industry. He'll be able to encourage boaters to take an approved safety course, get a free vessel safety check and to always wear life jackets when the boat is underway. I think the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary did a great job hooking up with Marino and that's more than I can say for Pizza Hut. Jessica Simpson, really? Simpson is a celebrity famous for She's the spokesperson you hire when you don't have an idea. I applaud the Auxiliary for getting the right person for the job when it decided to go with the NFL legend. If anyone can bring awareness to this industry it's Marino, which should go over better than his cameo appearance in the movie Ace Ventura, Pet Detective with Jim Carrey.

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