Shaquille O’Neal Leads a Slam Dunk Trio of Basketball Icons
Sharing Personal “Journey to Comfort” Stories with DOVE® Men + Care®
Steve Nash and Tom Izzo Join the “Journey to Comfort” Team to Give Fans
A Look Beyond Their On-Court Public Personalities During NCAA® March Madness®
ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, NJ, March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — DOVE® Men+Care®, a Unilever men’s personal care brand, is giving sports fans a look inside the lives of basketball legends just in time for the start of the 2012 NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. Larger-than-life player and personality Shaquille O’Neal, eight-time All-Star and two-time MVP Steve Nash as well as Michigan State University Head Coach Tom Izzo (also known as “Mr. March” by fans) are part of the next Dove® Men+Care® “Journey to Comfort” campaign, which shares personal experiences that have helped these hoop notables become comfortable in their own skin. Thanks to the Dove® Men+Care® collection of grooming products, guys can now be literally comfortable in their own skin with Antiperspirants/Deodorants and Personal Wash specifically designed for men.
O’Neal, Nash and Izzo’s “Journey to Comfort” stories will show how they understand the importance of caring for themselves and others. Beginning March 8, they will be shown throughout NCAA® March Madness®, as part of Unilever’s multi-year NCAA Corporate Partnership with CBS Sports and Turner Sports.
“This campaign takes even the most successful sports figures and transforms them from herculean to human,” said Rob Candelino, Vice President, Brand Building, for Unilever Skincare. “Most men admire these three legends for leading their teams to victory, but when Shaq, Nash and Izzo talk about the most important ‘team’ to them, it’s their children that take center court. This perspective resonates with fans who are also fathers, and not only enhances their NCAA tournament experience, but also their relationship with our brand.”
The “Journey to Comfort” videos provide a glimpse into each man’s personal and professional life. Insider anecdotes about Selection Sunday®, lessons learned from coaches and parents, as well as how fatherhood has changed them are just some of the unique stories revealed in the campaign.
“I wasn’t always ‘the man,’” said O’Neal, NCAA basketball legend and commentator. “I had to work hard for my success in basketball, and had tremendous coaches along the way. Now I’m a coach, both as a father and to my teams at the Boys and Girls Club—growing into that role has been a huge part of my journey.”
Nothing But (the) Net
Fans in need of an excuse to enjoy 2012 game play uninterrupted by work or other weekday obligations should visit the Dove® Men+Care® Facebook page starting March 7th for an alibi from the “Big Diesel” himself. “Shaq’s Big Excuse” Facebook app will send one of several customizable phone messages to a boss, co-worker or friend, as a hall pass to enjoy the weekday games from the comfort of your own home. Fans can also go from bystander to baller and experience the tournament on another level by visiting the Dove® Men+Care® Twitter and Facebook pages to connect with O’Neal, Nash and Izzo for game predictions and basketball discussions. Bring these basketball legends even further into your March Madness® arena by challenging them to an interactive game of around the world, free throws or sports trivia to be entered into the “Journey to the Final Four™” sweepstakes at www.dovemencare.com starting March 7th, for a chance to win basketball prizes, autographed gear and a VIP trip to the 2013 NCAA Men’s Final Four® in Atlanta.
Beyond the Buzzer
Check out how O’Neal, Nash and Izzo have each reached a level of personal comfort in spots airing throughout NCAA® March Madness® programming across TBS, CBS, TNT and TruTV, as well as their online properties. The stories will also be available for viewing on www.dovemencare.com, www.youtube.com/dovemencareus/ and via downloadable Dove® Men+Care® apps for IOS or Android devices. Dove® Men+Care® has also partnered with Viggle (www.viggle.com), a loyalty program for television, to offer fans who check into NCAA basketball games within Viggle the chance to earn extra points by watching the “Journey to Comfort” videos. Fans will also have access to a Viggle Dove® Men+Care® NCAA tournament page featuring live tournament stats, discussions, “Journey to Comfort” talent videos, and opportunities to purchase Dove® Men+Care® products through Amazon.com.
These three basketball greats join an all-star roster of athletes who have appeared in past “Journey to Comfort” videos, including Drew Brees, Albert Pujols, Joe Girardi, Andy Pettitte, Magic Johnson, John Thompson III, Bobby Hurley, Stewart Cink, Davis Love III and Kirk Herbstreit. This admired group has all reached a stage where they are comfortable in their own skin.
NCAA Corporate Partnership
Unilever, the makers of Dove, will spotlight Dove® Men+Care® during its second season as a proud partner of the NCAA® Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. As a leader in personal care, this multi-year commitment includes Unilever’s full portfolio of men’s and women’s personal care brands with exclusive category marketing and promotional rights related to all 88 NCAA championship events across 23 Men’s and Women’s sports as well as integrated marketing opportunities, retail and print, promotions, online and television advertising. The sponsorship will come to life during the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament across major retailers nationwide with in-store displays and merchandising starting this month, and culminating with Final Four Weekend in April 2012. As part of the 14-year multi-media agreement with the NCAA, CBS Sports and Turner Sports are licensed and collaborate on the NCAA’s corporate marketing program.
Total Skin Comfort
Thanks to Dove® Men+Care® all men can literally be comfortable in their own skin. Built on Unilever’s success in the men’s deodorant category and the Dove® brand’s heritage in superior skincare, new Dove® Men+Care® Aqua Impact Deodorants and Antiperspirants are specifically designed to be tough on sweat, not on skin. The collection provides total underarm care with 48-hour odor and wetness protection, and has a unique formula that fights skin irritation.
Joining the collection of Dove® Men+Care® Body and Face Wash are new Clean Defense and Fresh Awake Body and Face Washes. The Dove® Men+Care® body washes have skin care built in and are clinically proven to fight skin dryness better than regular men’s body washes. They are the number one choice of dermatologists.
Dove, manufactured by Unilever, is the No. 1 personal wash brand nationwide. One in every three households uses a Dove product¹, which includes beauty bars, body washes, face care, anti-perspirant/deodorants, body mists, hair care and styling aids. Dove® Men+Care® is a range of products from Dove developed specially for men. Dove is available nationwide in food, drug and mass outlet stores.
About Unilever North America
Unilever is one of the world’s leading suppliers of fast moving consumer goods with strong operations in more than 100 countries and sales in 180. With products that are used over two billion times a day around the world, we work to create a better future every day and help people feel good, look good and get more out of life with brands and services that are good for them and good for others. In the United States, Canada and the Greater Caribbean (Trinidad & Tobago, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico) the portfolio includes brand icons such as: Axe, Becel, Ben & Jerry’s, Bertolli, Blue Band, Breyers, Caress, Consort For Men, Country Crock, Degree, Dove personal care products, fds, Good Humor, Hellmann’s, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!, Just for Me!, Klondike, Knorr, Lever 2000, Lipton, Motions, Nexxus, Noxzema, OMO, Pond’s, Popsicle, Promise, Q-Tips, Ragu, Skippy, Slim-Fast, Soft & Beautiful, St. Ives, Suave, tcb, TIGI, TRESemmé, Vaseline, and Wish-Bone. All of the preceding brand names are registered trademarks of the Unilever Group of Companies. Dedicated to serving consumers and the communities where we live, work and play, Unilever employs more than 13,000 people across North America – generating nearly $10 billion in sales in 2010. For more information, visit www.unileverusa.com, www.unilever.ca, or www.unilevercaribbean.com.
About the NCAA
The NCAA is a membership-led nonprofit association of colleges and universities committed to supporting academic and athletic opportunities for more than 400,000 student-athletes at more than 1,000 member colleges and universities. Each year, more than 54,000 student-athletes compete in NCAA championships in Divisions I, II and III sports. Visit www.ncaa.org and www.ncaa.com for more details about the Association, its goals and members and corporate partnerships that help support programs for student-athletes.
NCAA, Final Four, March Madness and Journey to the Final Four are licensed by or trademarks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
¹ AC Nielsen (2010)
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