National Jimmermania over but locally still thriving

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Just over a year ago, Jimmer Fredette’s name was talked about on every sports channel on TV. NBA stars were tweeting about him and every BYU student was anxious to find out where the NBA would take him. This year, all is relatively quiet on the Jimmer front, nationally speaking.

But in Utah, it seems Jimmermania is still going strong, at least when talking about companies using his name to make some money.

Utahns driving South on the I-15 see his face on the Tow Kars billboard. “Join Jimmer. Donate a Kidney. Donate a Kar. Save a Life,” the website of the National Kidney Foundation of Utah and Idaho reads.

In addition to advocating kidney donation, Jimmer has expanded his brand to include DVDs. The BYU Basketball documentary from 2010-2011 stars Jimmer and the rest of the team talking about the Sweet 16 and Jimmermania.

Jimmer has his own documentary DVD as well, called “The Making of Jimmer” which is sold at the BYU bookstore, Costco and Amazon. It seemed like every person in Utah County wanted to learn more about the basketball star. For a few weeks, it was sold out at the bookstore and on backorder through Amazon.

His brand doesn’t stop with DVDs and billboards though.

Jimmer recently coordinated with Black Clover to produce the first edition of  “Jimmer Luck”, a line of hats, each one running around $25 a pop.

Al Fredette, Jimmer’s father, said he’s not sure about Jimmer expanding the brand into clothing and shoes in the future because it might conflict with Jimmer’s Spalding endorsement. The hat line didn’t conflict because Spalding doesn’t produce hats.

This is also the first year Jimmer  is doing his own basketball camp. In previous years, Jimmer participated in other camps but this summer the Jimmer Jam Camp will be the only camp he will be appearing at in Utah, Al Fredette said.

Lee Taft, Jimmer’s trainer, will run the camp alongside the Fredette family including Jimmer’s brother TJ, his dad Al, and Jimmer himself. The camp for youth ages 8 to 18 will focus on athletic ability, basketball skills and overall life skills.

“He [Taft] will be building the kids athleticism and show the things Jimmer did to become a better athlete,” Al Fredette said. “We also will be stressing life skills like being a good person, being kind and thoughtful because those skills are more important than basketball skills.”

The camp will be in New York in late June and the Utah camp will be in early August. Registration before May 1 is $195 per participant and $245 per participant after May 1.

So what makes Jimmer’s name so profitable?

Sarah Barnes, Vice President of Marketing at Daily Bread, a Utah-based food storage company, said his dedication and preparation made him an ideal candidate for their campaign. Daily Bread made several commercials recently starring Jimmer.

“We love his story about how he aspired to be in the NBA,” she said. “He is all about preparation and he spent his whole life preparing to be in the NBA.”

Since the ads launched in March, Barnes said the campaign has been very successful for the company and they love the association they receive from the Jimmer commercials.

Jimmer’s regular appearances in Utah help with the hype.

When the Sacramento Kings visited the Jazz on March 30, Jimmer told the Desert News he was excited to be back.

“It’s a special place for me, obviously for the last four years and always will be,” he said.

On April 2, the Kings took on the Timberwolves and Jimmer had his best game as an NBA rookie yet. He played 25 minutes and added 19 points to the scoreboard.

Al Fredette said many people respect Jimmer in Utah and around the country because of his character. Many have helped Jimmer succeed on and off the court.

“He’s worked so hard to get to the NBA and at the same time he’s a well-rounded kid,” he said. “He’s done things the right way and made good choices and he’s had a lot of help because people like who he is.”

 

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