I think it’s actually the oldest advertising play in the book: get a celebrity, or someone who is at least somewhat noteworthy, to use your product to show everyone how hip and cool it is. Speaking personally, this tactic doesn't work on me. Given how long it’s been around, though, I'll admit that it probably works on a lot of people.
Uber absolutely loves this tactic; notice how in every single stop of its recent Asian rollout, it has prominently displayed a picture of a local celebrity, or two, using the service. So, why not try the same thing in the United States too?
The e-hailing service has just struck a deal with the NFL Players Association, to give rides to professional football players through the 2013-2014 season, it was announced Wednesday.
Beginning in September, NFL players have been able to summon a ride in any of Uber’s international locations, which include almost 20 of the cities that house NFL teams, as well as Honolulu, the site of the Pro Bowl in January.
Each player will receive a personalized key chain cards that contains ride credits. Each players will also get rider gift cards for their friends and family. All a player has to do is request a ride via Uber’s smartphone app, and an Uber will "arrive within minutes."
An Uber spokesperson would not reveal the financial terms of the deal.
Uber is one of the most popular, and well-known, e-hailing services around but a deal like this could put it over the top. I don't have to tell you that America is football crazy; the image of players like Aaron Rodgers, Peyton Manning or Tom Brady riding around in an Uber car could go a long way in the mind of the public.
So that's the benefit from Uber's end. What does the NFLPA get out of it? The guaranteed safety of those players who chose to take advantage of it.
Athletes are kind of notorious for getting in trouble behind the wheel of a car. There's even a whole website dedicated to chronically the arrests and citations involving NFL players since 2000 and on the first page alone the term DUI comes up four times. There were also arrests for outstand traffic warrants, drag racing and driving without a license.
Translation: NFL players and cars do not mix. So this is the Players Association's way of giving the athletes an even easier way of getting home safely.
“We view the partnership with Uber as an innovative way for players to have access to professional transportation while also pledging to each other, to their families and to the community to make responsible decisions," NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said in a statement.
Still, no one is going to force the players to use Uber, and there is no telling how many will actually take advantage of the program. But now no one can accuse the Players Association of not at least trying to promote safety among the players in the league.
VatorNews has reached out to the NFLPA for more details, including the financial terms of the deal, and we will update if we learn more.
(Image source: https://www.nflplayers.com)