Does Verdasco Really Put the “X” Back in Sex?

With Ana Ivanovic getting lots of press, both good and bad, for her pictorial in the recent swimsuit issue of Sports Illustrated, it seems only fair to show Ivanovic’s former boyfriend and fellow adidas teammate, Fernando Verdasco, in his own suggestive ad campaign for Calvin Klein’s new line of underwear simply called “X”.

The question for Verdasco, and any male tennis player for that matter, is can they really sell underwear, or anything, to anybody? Verdasco along with a quartet of somewhat well known actors and athletes (I know I could look up their names, but this is part of my point) strut for the camera clad only in the new underwear line while they appear to say dirty words bleeped for the easily offended.

Of course, Calvin Klein and its ad campaigns always love to offend and even disturb audiences. But why use Verdasco and the others? Ok, so one of them is an actor in the “Twilight” series, but what value, aside from movie buzz, do they bring to the campaign?

Women may be drawn in by the sight of Verdasco’s abs, but will that compel them to run out and pick up a pair for the man in their life? But the real question is can men tennis players inspire consumers the way female tennis players can, especially when it comes to fashion? I also wondered in a recent post if Andy Murray’s own mega-deal with adidas, while enhancing Murray’s bottom line, would do much to help clothing sales for the brand? At least Ivanovic, despite her recent travails, won the French Open, adding to her market “credibility”.

The big three men’s players, brandwise, are still Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Roddick. It’s great that Verdasco is getting some added face time in the media, but I’m sure he would love to add more titles to his resume so he doesn’t have to resort to taking it off for extra cash the rest of his career. Being the “pinup” on tour can be lucrative, but carries it own risks, especially if your tennis doesn’t live up to the hype.

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