5/6/10 3:45 PM
New Balance has found a face for their lacrosse line. Images of the Chicago Machine’s Chazz Woodson decorate the newly launched New Balance Lacrosse website and a new marketing campaign focuses on their first sponsored Lacrosse player, bringing player-fan interaction to a new level.
The focal point of their Lacrosse webpage, New Balance’s “Lax Highlight Steal” provides an interactive platform where fans are encouraged to design and edit their very own Chazz highlight reel, in hopes of winning New Balance gear or even airtime on ESPN2. Who wins is all up to Chazz himself. He will watch the clips and select the winners based on his approval.
New Balance Associate integrated marketing manager of team sportsJames MacKenzie spoke on why Woodson was a good fit for the sponsorship, “Chazz is a great ambassador for New Balance because of the energy and creativity he brings to the field and his spirit and charitable giving off of it,” MacKenzie said.
Chazz’s off-field qualities are the reason he feels he was approached for the sponsorship. “I don’t know if I would say that I am representative of the lacrosse community as a whole,” he said, “but I think that certain qualities and characteristics that I have are. Those can be attributed to the way that I’ve been raised and coached.”
To Chazz, those qualities and characteristics are the appreciation of comradery and the altruistic nature that lacrosse breeds. “Lacrosse is inherently about giving back and developing young men into contributing, responsible, adults,” said Woodson.
“It’s a game that opens up a lot of doors for people, but you have to treat each other the right way, I think that the majority of the lacrosse community is aware of that…in that right, I do exemplify what lacrosse is all about.”
In addition to his off-field grasp of the community aspect of lacrosse, Chazz’s unique on-field style makes him even more marketable. The definition of an energetic and flashy player, Woodson was crowned the Freestyle Winner during the Bud Light Skills Competition at the 2008 MLL All-Star Game. His hurdle over two young fans while shooting to score proves the very skill and creativity that got the interest of New Balance.
“He has his own attitude and style,” James MacKenzie said, “the great thing about lacrosse is that players bring so much of themselves to their game, and there is a lot of individual expression. A player's personality often shows through on the field, and Chazz is a great example of that."
His over-the-top style should come as no surprise; Chazz is used to sticking out. Simply playing lacrosse in general, he said, gained him the puzzled attention of his friends. “When I got to college most of my friends had never seen a lacrosse game. I might bring my stick out to the basketball court out to throw against the wall and nobody knew what I was doing.”
All too familiar with the underground nature of the sport, Chazz hopes that his sponsorship will be a step in the right direction for the sport of lacrosse.
“For so many years lacrosse has been dominated by such a small community…in terms of lacrosse itself growing, there’s nothing better than the exposure,” Chazz said.
Those interested can log on to NewBalance.com/Performance/Lacrosse to see more about Chazz Woodson, check out New Balance Lacrosse products, watch fan edited videos or enter to win.
- Tim Cintolo
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