When all-star pitcher Jacob deGrom takes the mound this season, he’s not only pitching for the Mets. He’s making a few pitches for GEICO, too.
DeGrom didn’t join the company softball team or anything like that. However, he’ll join the likes of NASCAR Sprint Cup Series driver Casey Mears and Washington Capitals star forward Nicklas Backstrom as a GEICO spokesperson from the sports world.
In addition to appearing in regional and national television commercials and local radio spots, the 2015 All-Star will appear in video bumpers to introduce GEICO SportsNite, a local New York sport-centered news show that airs after every Mets game on SportsNet New York (SNY).
When it came to whom to approach for this campaign, the Mets and deGrom were an easy choice. The Mets had a remarkable year in 2015; they won the National League Eastern Division crown and advanced to the World Series for the first time since 2000. Meanwhile, deGrom had an excellent season himself last year. He struck out three batters with just 10 pitches when he represented the Mets in the All-Star game and won three games during the postseason, including the deciding Game 5 against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League Division series.
“Given the success (the Mets) and Jacob had last season, we thought it would be a perfect fit,” says GEICO Sports Marketing’s Ryan Moreland. “He was great to work with in the process and it seems like it’ll be a great extension to our Mets partnership, aligning ourselves with him.”
Since deGrom has garnered so much success so quickly he hasn’t had too many opportunities to work with big brands. So when he stepped on the set for a big GEICO commercial shoot, he was caught a little off-guard, according to Moreland, but once he got in the flow of things, deGrom handled the shoot like a pro.
“I think (deGrom) was a little surprised when he got to the stadium and saw all of the cameras and everything that goes into these production shoots,” says Moreland. “But once he started recording the radio spots and the SNY intro early on for us, he started to get comfortable and have a lot of fun with it.”
DeGrom had so much fun in fact, when it came to him throwing some pitches for the commercial, the GEICO team had a tough time getting him to stop.
“We were originally planning on limiting the number of pitches that he was going throw on Tuesday night because he was going to be pitching again on Thursday,” says Moreland. “He wanted to stay out there as long as he could and we actually had to tell him to calm down so he didn’t have any issues for the next game.”
Watch this behind-the-scenes video to see how it all came together:
As the partnership between deGrom and GEICO develops the hope is deGrom won’t only be pitching for GEICO, but will be fully covered by the company, too. The process is off to a good start as GEICO recently helped deGrom secure a homeowners insurance policy.
“Everything seems to be going well,” Moreland said. “That’s his intention; he wants to be 100% on board as a GEICO customer.”
By Joe Dyton