Did you know that basketball players are evidently harder to “maintain” than football players? …. Whatever that means.
Okay, let’s step back for a second. If you live in the DMV area, you’ve undoubtedly seen commercials for Eastern Motors. They usually feature Washington Redskins but more recently have branched out to include the likes of Alex Ovechkin. The commercials have reached cult status around these parts, just check out the Easterns YouTube channel.
Combine famous athletes doing silly things with a catchy jingle and you get plenty of blog-worthy instances, along with genius branding efforts which have netted Easterns a lot of money.
Hell, the fact that Eastern Motors is simply targeting shiny, new 33-year old Redskins quarterback Donovan McNabb is blog-worthy … courtesy of Dan Steinberg and his DC Sports Bog.
Feeding into the John Wall mania … “What about John Wall!?!?,” was asked by Steinberg to Robert Bassam, founder/CEO of the automotive group. Bassam said:
“I’ve not had as much success marketing basketball players and being able to maintain basketball players’ personalities and needs as I’ve had with football players I don’t know why that is, but basketball players are harder to sort of maintain.”
Curious. And perhaps by “harder to sort of maintain” Bassam is considering the time a member of the Washington Wizards evidently showed up at the Eastern Motors offices and asked if he could sing the “Your job is your credit!” jingle in a commercial … at least that’s what Bassam told the Washington City Paper’s Dave McKenna in February 2005. Bassam said he turned down the player and also declined to name a name. Damn. (I’d really like to know if it was Kwame Brown, the story would’ve fit perfectly into his lore.)
But hold it right there. Eastern Motors has included basketball players in a couple commercials. There’s the spot featuring Carmelo Anthony, done to cater to Melo’s hometown Baltimore market. And then there’s the participation of Brendan Haywood.
The basic premise is that these players get the use of a fancy car and various “other” benefits in exchange for a couple hours of their time. So, being “able to maintain” essentially boils down to having no qualms about getting goofy during the filming of a commercial, one which has a local/quaint feel to it.
Maybe basketball players just aren’t usually willing to do this for what amounts to being able to borrow a car … that is, except for Haywood.
You see, our friend Brendan is a notorious cheapskate — the type who is willing to cram his 7-foot frame into a coach seat to save a couple bucks on a plane ticket … or so they say. He even once called himself cheap. So, no disputes that Haywood would be the type who’d happily to sing and dance for a temporary car. And that’s just what Brendan did in late 2006.
See Eddie Jordan? Haywood wasn’t that hard to maintain after all.
Also worth noting … Antawn Jamison once shot an Eastern Motors commercial, but I don’t recall ever seeing it on television nor is it on the Easterns YouTube channel.
And John Wall? Well, I wouldn’t count on him selling out the John Wall Dance to Eastern Motors for chump change any time soon.