New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick spoke publicly for the first time about the team’s deflated football scandal … in front of an all-too-appropriate Gillette ad that read #Flexball.
The Patriots play in Gillette Stadium, and Gillette is a team sponsor. The Flexball is a technology used in Gillette’s Fusion blades that helps the razor head swivel.
The inadvertently odd product placement of the Flexball ad didn’t escape many on Twitter.
“Love @Gillette FLEXBALL publicity in the background of the @Patriots press conference… Whatever happened this is a great marketing idea!” tweeted IndyCar driver Simon Pagenaud.
“You can’t make this up. The corporate logo behind Belichick for his #DeflateGate statement is “Flexball,” noted @jasonbhuffman.
Jim Delaney, CEO of sports marketing company Activate Sports & Entertainment, noted that Gillette Flexball mentions on social networks skyrocketed on Thursday. Mentions of Flexball average in the single digits on a typical day, but they soared into the thousands when Belichick began to speak.
Gillette said it was not trying to take advantage of the increased media coverage, scrutinizing the team’s alleged shenanigans with illegally deflating footballs. “DeflateGate” has become a topic of national interest, and CNN and many other news organizations carried Belichick’s press conference live.
“The site of the press conference is Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, so the same background is commonly seen at many press conferences throughout the year,” said Kurt Iverson, a spokesman for Gillette parent company Procter & Gamble.
The video screen Belichick spoke in front of alternated between the Gillette ad and a Dunkin’ Donuts logo — another Boston-area staple.