Gillette’s FlexBall Gets $3.2 Million Exposure From Deflategate

Deflategate has been a boon for one company and its aptly named product.

Gillette’s logo and a hashtag promoting its FlexBall razor were featured in the backdrop for news conferences yesterday by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick. The placement, and comedic relevance of the name, will bring at least $3.2 million in television exposure to the Procter & Gamble Co. brand, according to sponsorship evaluation firm Front Row Analytics.

“As an ironic benefactor of #DeflateGate, the brand value that Gillette’s #FlexBall brand of razors received today is indicative of how powerful and popular the NFL is in mainstream media,” Eric Smallwood, senior vice president at Philadelphia-based Front Row, said yesterday in an e-mail.

The hashtag #FlexBall was trending on Twitter yesterday morning when Belichick took the podium to discuss how 11 of the 12 balls the Patriots supplied for use in their Jan. 18 playoff game against the Indianapolis Colts were found to have been inflated below the NFL’s standards. The exposure increased a few hours later when Brady, in front of the same backdrop, said he knew of no wrongdoing by the team.

FlexBall razors sell for as much as $12.59, according to the company’s website.

Gillette spokesman Kurt Iverson said in an e-mail that the backdrop has been used regularly this season at the Patriots’ weekly media meetings. The company also has the naming rights to the team’s Foxborough, Massachusetts, stadium.

Front Row’s $3.2 million number, which Smallwood called “conservative,” is based on the amount of people that watched the news conferences live. While it does not include any value from a trending hashtag on Twitter, it takes into account coverage on evening news, and other media organizations that will show video of the Patriots’ comments.

The exposure was worth about $760,000 after Belichick spoke, according to Smallwood. He said cameras had to take a wider angle to capture the 6-foot-4 Brady, which allowed for more Gillette logos to be seen.

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