By Barry Janoff, Executive Editor
February 12, 2011: Ray Allen is already riding the wave of having claimed one of the most prestigious records in the NBA — the all-time leader in three-point shots made. He passed the former leader, Reggie Miller, during a game against the Los Angeles Lakers on Feb. 10, when he hit his 2,561st career three-pointer. Now, the Boston Celtics' all-star guard is turning that achievement into marketing success.
Dunkin' Donuts, which signed Allen to a deal last year and features him in multi-media marketing, said it would honor his basketball milestone by donating 20¢ from iced coffee cups sold in the Greater Boston area to Allen's Ray of Hope Foundation, with a target of $25,000. The one-day effort was on Feb. 11; the 20¢ was picked in honor of Allen's No. 20 Celtics uniform.
According to Allen, “The foundation supports a number of charities in the area such as the Boys & Girls Clubs and the Home for Little Wanderers, so I encourage people to head to Dunkin’ Donuts to support these and other great causes.”
Jordan Brand, a division of Nike, put Allen front-and-center at its Web site, where he talks about the three-point record, his place in NBA history and his time as a member of Team Jordan. Text offers, "On February 10, 2011, Ray Allen broke the all-time three-point record." 2,561 and counting. To the greatest three-point shooter of all time: Much respect."
Allen has been with Jordan Brand since he joined the NBA in 1996.
In a video, Allen explains, "Breaking this record as a [member of the Boston] Celtics, it sets you up there with so many great Hall of Famers. You talk the great Celtics of the past and say what they did and how they had an impact on the game when they played. [Now] I will feel like I belong."
Glaceau's Vitaminwater energy drink, a division of Coca-Cola, has posted a tribute to long-time endorser Allen on Allen's Ray of Hope Facebook site and also on YouTube. The company took to the streets of Boston with a sign, "3 Honks For Ray Allen" to film fans offering congratulations to Allen. Among them are Boston Mayor Thomas Menino; Wes Welker, wide receiver for the New England Patriots, who jokingly says, "Even though your toe was on the [three-point] line a few times, we're still going to give it to you. You did a heck of a job"; Celtics teammate Kendrick Perkins, who offers, "You have the three-point record. I want to know how that feels — I still haven't made one three-point shot"; and Allen's his mom, wife and kids. (See it here.)
The Celtics have made available a T-shirt from official NBA outfitter adidas that commemorates Allen's achievement. The T-shirt can be obtained via the Celtics Store online or Allen's Ray of Hope.
Webster Bank, a leading New England financial institution, said it has signed marketing partnership with Allen that runs through August 2012. Financial terms were not disclosed.
The alliance was launched with "The Webster Dream Team," a video that also stars Jim Calhoun, who was Allen's coach at the University of Connecticut, and a group of the bank's Boston-based employees. The video can be viewed on numerous sites, including Websterbank.com, YouTube, Bing, Flickr, Metacafe, Blip.tv, Viddler, Video Jug, Vimeo and Daily Motion.
Webster has had a marketing partnership with Calhoun in Connecticut since 2000.
Under the agreement, Webster said it would have "full marketing and endorsement rights from Allen throughout the bank's New England/New York geographical footprint through August of 2012." Allen will appear in video and still photography that will be used in Webster's advertising, marketing and collateral materials. He will also make special appearances at select Webster events.
The partnership was negotiated with Boston-based Altus Marketing & Management. The video was produced by Kelliher Samets Volk, Boston.
"Our new partnership with Ray Allen offers an incredibly unique way for Webster to strengthen and differentiate our brand from Boston through Connecticut," Michelle Crecca, CMO for Webster Bank, said in a statement. "Ray is a perfect match for us. His core values of teamwork, discipline and giving back to the community mirror our own. He is beloved by millions throughout our New England region, both for his NBA career and his college career at the University of Connecticut, where he played for the legendary Coach Jim Calhoun."
"Even though your toe was on the [three-point] line a few times, we're still going to give it to you. You did a heck of a job." — Wes Welker, New England Patriots
According to John Ivey, managing partner of Altus Marketing & Management, ""The emotional connection sports delivers in the Boston marketplace is unique and powerful, and it is critical that companies entering this market leverage that connection in as authentic a manner as possible. Not only does Ray possess the extraordinary personal attributes embodied by the best endorsement personalities, he also has meaningful roots in Webster's Connecticut home base -- providing a critical bridge from the bank's past to its future. We're very excited about this partnership and looking forward to seeing it unfold over the coming weeks and months."