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News » Braun casts star image Big endorsements come his way

Braun casts star image Big endorsements come his way

Braun casts star image  Big endorsements come his way
To borrow a phrase from an old Milwaukee Brewers marketing slogan, outfielder Ryan Braun is taking things national.

After earning rookie-of-the-year status in the 2007 season, Braun has quietly and successfully raised his national profile when it comes to landing endorsements.

According to his agent, Nez Balelo, Braun has signed deals with CytoSport, a supplement maker, Nike, Wilson, Mikita Sports for autographs and memorabilia, Sam Bat and AirTran Airways.

But Balelo emphasized that Braun's interest in branding and marketing was always secondary to his Baseball job.

"He takes his job extremely, extremely seriously," Balelo said in a telephone interview. "These things he has, he understands they would not be here but for his success on the field. There is nothing that has a higher priority than his performance in the field. Everything is secondary. If we ever felt something will interfere or be a distraction to his performance, then we would not do that."

The CytoSport deal was a direct result of his rookie-of-the-year honor. Balelo said the company contacted him with the idea of signing athletes who were honored rookies in their sports and who were on their way up professionally.

"We talked for about three months and we were able to come to terms," he said. "It's been a great relationship and we're continuing to expand in other things with CytoSport."

Besides Braun, the supplement maker has deals with Adrian Peterson of the Minnesota Vikings, Shaquille O'Neal of the Phoenix Suns and Brandon Roy of the Portland Trail Blazers.

For AirTran, Braun will appear in advertisements and will make personal appearance in behalf of the airline. The airline already has naming rights to the right-field picnic area at Miller Park.

Braun also has his own line of clothing, called Remetee, which is distributed at stores across the country.

Balelo, who works with CAA Sports, said Braun had been successful in overcoming perceptions that Milwaukee was too small a market to allow athletes to make a dent nationally.

"Ryan Braun is a marketable individual whether he plays in Milwaukee or whether he plays in New York," Balelo said. "Everybody says it's not a big market, but I think we've overcome that and we've been successful, and we've ignored any company that has said, 'It's the Milwaukee market and we're not going to play in that arena.' "

Added Balelo, "Other people are starting to recognize that Ryan Braun is a marketable individual and he's becoming more and more a recognizable face in Baseball."


The Brewers have not gotten much production from the No. 3, 4 and 5 hitters in their lineup in stumbling to a 4-8 start this season. A look at how Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder and J.J. Hardy have fared thus far:


Ryan Braun .222 1 5 .340 .356 6 10

Prince Fielder .175 1 7 .327 .325 10 15

J.J. Hardy .114 2 6 .130 .273 1 10

Copyright 2009, Journal Sentinel Inc. All rights reserved. (Note: This notice does not apply to those news items already copyrighted and received through wire services or other media.)

Author:Fox Sports
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Added: April 21, 2009

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