Magazine article Marketing

Sponsors Embrace Raptors' Carter

Magazine article Marketing

Sponsors Embrace Raptors' Carter

Article excerpt

The signing of Vince Carter means increased sponsorship dollars for both the Toronto Raptors team and its superstar forward.

"When he (Carter) first came to the Raptors, critics in the U.S. said this is going to hurt him from an endorsement standpoint," says Kevin Albrecht, managing director of IMG Canada in Toronto, Carter's agency. Now with his six-year, US$94-million (C$138-million) deal, "we've seen the exact opposite. He is now in control of an entire country."

However, Albrecht says IMG is working on a sponsorship plan for Carter that will focus on both Canada and the U.S. "Two more blue chip corporate partners (will be signed) that will be North America-based rather than just Canadian-based," says Albrecht.

Carter's current sponsors are Bell Canada, Gatorade, Nike and Cadbury Trebor Allan. For the latter, Carter will be featured on Mr. Big chocolate bars as part of a limited collector series this fall. Although Albrecht won't reveal numbers, sources say a sponsorship with Carter costs in the low seven figures annually. …

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