Gillette Drafts Sports Icons

BOSTON Grooming products giant Gillette said it has signed iconic figures from three different sports to anchor its new Gillette Champions marketing program.

The stars are Roger Federer (tennis), Thierry Henry (soccer) and Tiger Woods (golf). Gillette chose them for their competitive achievements, sportsmanship and positive off-field images, the Boston-based company said.

They will be integrated into global print and broadcast advertising, consumer promotions, point-of-sale materials, online and public relations in support of Gillette’s shaving products.

Gillette, a unit of Procter & Gamble, uses Omnicom Group’s BBDO in New York as its lead creative agency. Ads have long been themed, “The best a man can get.” The client spends approximately $1 billion on annual global advertising.

“These three athletes have proven they have what it takes to be a champion on the course, the court or the pitch,” said Chip Bergh, president, global grooming at Gillette, in a statement. “They were chosen not only for their outstanding sporting performances, but also for their performance off the field, in their charitable actions, support of social causes or their reputations as icons of true sporting values. Millions of men, women and children around the world look to these athletes, who raise their level of play and bring the game to a new level. They set the standard in sports and style.”

The Gillette Champions program is scheduled to roll out in over 150 markets in the first year, making this the largest current sports marketing initiative for the brand, the company said. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Woods is a four-time Masters champion and seven-time PGA player of the year. Federer has won four Wimbledon and three U.S. Open singles titles. Henry has played on World Cup and European championship soccer clubs.