Wednesday, July 13, 2011

'Christian Lopez Week' at Modell's, offers of financial support line up for fan who caught Jeter 3K ball

7/13/11, USA Today,"Several savvy marketers — including MillerCoors, Modell's Sporting Goods and Steiner Sports Marketing — are offering wads of cash to Christian Lopez, the good-guy fan with the big heart and large college loan debts, who returned the historic ball to Jeter despite the possibility that he could have collected a king's ransom for it on eBay.

"Derek still has Nike and Gillette," jokes the 23-year-old Lopez, in a phone interview. "He's used to that kind of stuff. I assure you, I'm not trying to get in on that."

But marketers of all types are knocking on Lopez's door. "This is the curse of social media," says public relations guru KD Paine. "Marketers are jumping on whatever today's trending topic is on Twitter." Among them:

Beermaker. Miller High Life, which calls itself a "common sense" beer, offered to pay the estimated $14,000 tax bill for memorabilia and tickets that Lopez got as thanks from Jeter and the Yankees. "Miller High Life believes you should be rewarded for doing the right thing, not punished," says Brendan Noonan, brand manager. The company also offered to throw a beer party for Lopez and "legal drinking age friends." No decision, yet, from Lopez.

•Retailer. Modell's Sporting Goods has dubbed this "Christian Lopez Week" at Modell's, and will donate 5% of Yankee merchandise sales to Lopez. Minimum guarantee: $25,000. "We don't want anyone to think it's a publicity stunt," says Mitchell Modell, CEO of the chain known for aiding local causes. "We just want to celebrate this guy who has Yankee blood in his veins."

•Sports marketer. Steiner Sports Marketing, with ties to the Yankees and Jeter, is auctioning sports memorabilia on its site, with profits going to Lopez. Minimum guarantee: $25,000. "This guy's been good," says CEO Brandon Steiner. "I wanted to do something good for him."

•PR firm. JCPR, which specializes in financial public relations, is giving Lopez free PR advice. Owner Jennifer Connelly says a friend of Lopez's mother approached her when the family was overwhelmed with requests. "Who knows where this will take us?" she says. "We're a pay-it-forward kind of firm."

  • No, they haven't heard from Nike-yet."

7/13/11, "Marketers jump on Jeter 3,000 catcher," USA Today, Bruce Horovitz


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