Monday, October 11, 2010

Fallout for Brett Favre's Endorsement Deal with Wrangler

CNBC's Darren Rovell looks at how Wrangler, which has paid Brett Favre millions for his endorsement and for his appearances in a wide-range of All-American type ads, often with footballs and dogs and pick-up trucks, might respond to allegations indicating that Favre, who has been married for 14 years with two children, may have sent inappropriate messages and photos to another woman.

Here is Rovell:

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I spoke to a couple people yesterday who were surprised that Brett Favre’s Wrangler jeans spots were still running. Surprised that he was still on their Web site. They were surprised that Wrangler had no comment.

Well, I’m not. Put yourself in their shoes, or jeans. You have an athlete who you’ve worked hard to connect to your brand. And, unlike many of the endorsement deals out there, it fits.

Then this story comes along, where Favre might have strongly come on to a woman who was paid to do in-stadium sideline and Jumbotron reporting for the Jets when he played there. There are voicemails and pictures of private parts, allegedly his.

Partly as a result of the media age we live in, these pictures are released to the public. The NFL has to look into it because Favre and the woman he approached, Jenn Sterger, were both paid by the Jets.

But where does that leave Wrangler?

Well, let’s say worst-case scenario the voicemails are from Favre and so are the pictures. Maybe Favre’s not the clean family man we pictured him to be, but there’s nothing there that makes it a natural for Wrangler to sever its deal with him.

If all this is true, is it a put off to his reputation? Sure it is. But you don’t have evidence of adultery and no crime was committed. Kobe Bryant lost his endorsement deals because he was charged with a crime (the criminal case was later dropped and the civil case was settled). Tiger Woods lost endorsement deals because he was unfaithful to the hilt. . . .

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To read the rest, click here.

Quick legal point: Should Wrangler seek to get out of its endorsement contract with Favre, the wording of the morals clause in that contract will likely play a major factor. If it is expansively worded--such as covering all types of conduct that is publicly reprehensible, at least as deemed by Wrangler--that helps Wrangler; if it is narrowly worded--such as requiring that the Favre commit a crime--that helps to protect Favre.