Wednesday
May042011

Smells Like Team Spirit: Right Guard Signs Kevin Love For 'Total Defense 5' Push

By Barry Janoff, Executive Editor

May 3, 2011: Kevin Love of the Minnesota Timberwolves recently was named the NBA's "Most Improved Player" for the 2010-11 season.

Now, Right Guard, the official deodorant and body wash of the NBA, has named him the "Best Smelling Player."

The "honor" was not random. Love has signed a deal to become marketing spokesman for the brand's new Right Guard Total Defense 5 Body Wash line. Financial terms were not disclosed.

The alliance is being anchored by a campaign, "Love in the Shower," which includes TV and Internet.

In addition, a social media leg via Facebook is asking consumers to submit alternate endings to Love's TV spots, offering a chance to win tickets to the NBA Finals in June as well as prizes including sports merchandise autographed by Love, gift cards to NBAStore.com and a year's supply of Right Guard Total Defense 5 Body Wash.

The campaign is being run in conjunction with ESPN, with spots to air on ESPN, ESPN.com and ESPN mobile. Integration also includes product placement on ESPN shows and a SportsCenter mention in the Love commercials.

In two spots,  Love is seen in the shower of a fan, who is nonchalantly brushing his teeth. In "Towel Toss," the guy's wife walks in and asks, "What's Kevin Love doing in our shower?" "Trying my new Right Guard Body Wash," the guy replies. Love then asks for a towel and the guy throws one at him.

In the second, "Loofah Love," the guy's wife again walks in and asks, "What is Kevin Love doing in our shower?" Love himself replies, "Loofah, I love it" as he scrubs his back.

A voiceover in both offers, "Start you day right with new Right Guard Body Wash. And SportsCenter."

Kevin Love hits the shower for Right Guard.Right Guard is asking consumers to submit "What's your Love line?" alternate endings now through May 13. People will then be able to vote on their favorites from May 16-23, the five best of which will actually be included in re-filmed versions of the spots. (Full details here.)
 
Right Guard previously had a multi-year marketing deal with NBA all-star guard Chris Paul, which was signed in 2008 and has since expired.

Love also has a deal with Nike basketball.

Right Guard said it selected Love "based on his determination to hit the showers immediately after practice and encourage his fellow teammates to leave the stink on the court."

"Guys don't want someone on their team who literally stinks," Love said in a statement. "I appreciate that Right Guard recognizes my efforts to smell great even after a day on the court."

Love, who was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves out of UCLA in 2008, was named to the NBA All-Star Team in 2010-11. During the season he racked up a 53-game double-double streak, the longest such mark since the NBA-ABA merger in 1976.

"We admire Kevin for his hard work on the court, in the gym and in the locker room," said Toby Gubitz, vp-marketing for Right Guard. "He strives to be a better player and embraces a team mentality by always smelling his best."

The Right Guard Total Defense 5 Body Wash line includes Refreshing, Cooling and Hydrating variants.

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