This past week a topic of choice for some was Washington Nationals prospect Bryce Harper’s Twitter feed where he “upped” his Twitter game by mentioning he’d love more celebrities following him and then basically whoring his feed out to various products such as Evoshield, Oakley sunglasses (above) and apparently there is a Bryce Harper line of Under Armor products on the way– all which I will buy.
This sort of product prostitution has had a couple people writing in asking why hasn’t the NQ completely nailed Harper to the wall for mindlessly whoring himself out to corporate sponsorship, especially since he hasn’t taken a Major League at bat yet. We totally would have a negative opinion on this, but we don’t for two reasons: 1.) This is what ballplayers do and have done forever. Be it through social media or TV, magazines or the internet: ballplayers take on sponsorships. Nothing has changed. 2.) It would be easier to slap Harper on the wrist if two other members of the Nationals organization didn’t go on social media and do the same sort of shameless plugging as Harper– only yesterday.
The following are two examples of two other Nationals who have done the shameless plugging thing just like Harper over the past 24 hours. One National goes about it the right way, while the other looks, well, shameless.
Cutter Dykstra Does It The Right Way
The last name “Dykstra” is enough to make some of our reader’s puke, but son Cutter here did his product placement thing just right. His tweet just makes mention of the product or organization while making it seem in passing. The photo that accompanies the tweet is interesting, Cutter in training and he is wearing a shirt of the thing he is advertising, but it is something you can see him wearing any off day or, oddly enough, while training. Throw in he was able to incorporate the Curly W into the photo for added points and you have a well placed product placement that benefits the sponsor, player and his team. Plus fans see a Curly W– Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!
Ryan Zimmerman Does It The Wrong Way
Ryan Zimmerman spent part of his off season doing an ad for Thompson Creek Windows and while this is a candid shot, you can tell I am never going to buy Thompson Creek Windows. First off, no one just goes on their everyday Facebook and plugs windows. No one just sits in their living room admiring their smearless glass and solid oak window frames and then suddenly decide to plug the windows in a FB status. I’ve had windows installed before and I’ll be damned if I remember what company did it. I think his name was Walter. Zimmerman looks like he is pushing Thompson Creek on us and I don’t like to be pushed. We also know that Zimmerman would no way be caught wearing that Thompson Creek shirt on a day-to-day basis, the fact the photo has the TV equipment in it further says “I’m getting paid to sell you something” and I hope that thumbs up grin does not appear in the commercial. He wasn’t coy about this at all (the script probably didn’t call for it) which makes this a shameless plug. Plus, where is the Nats hat? Who is this Zimmerman guy? What does he do? Does he really sell windows?
Harper isn’t coy or smooth about it either and the shameless plugging makes Harper come off as rich and arrogant to some and in a way they are right: he is rich. He is arrogant. Most kids his age with money are, but as he learns the ropes, comes up to the Majors and matures he will get better and probably fall into the “Picnic With Rob Dibble” advertising we all love to despise and ignore.
I know there are people that just totally hate Harper for the love of hating Bryce Harper, but in this case don’t hate the player, hate the game. I am 99% sure you’d be lying if you didn’t want some sort of celebrity following you and I am 100% sure you’d be plugging the hell out of Burlap Toilet Paper on your Twitter feed if they came to you with a check and lifetime supply.