A little Captain Morgan was a lot too much for the National Football league.
The Diageo-owned rum brand sacked some publicity when it coaxed Philadelphia Eagles tight end Brent Celek to strike its trademark captain's pose after scoring a touchdown during last Sunday night's Philadelphia-Dallas game in exchange for a $10,000 donation to a charity that supports retired NFL players.
But now the league is moving to make sure it won't happen again, promising a "significant" penalty for the next player who pulls a similar stunt, although neither Mr. Celek nor teammate Jason Avant, who assisted with the pose, were fined this time.
The Captain Morgan stunt was, in effect, a double no-no for the NFL, which, like all leagues, has strict rules forbidding ambush marketing stunts on the field of play in order to protect the pricey exclusive deals signed by its own sponsors.
Beyond that, however, the league also forbids any active player or coach from endorsing alcoholic beverage brands, which, for instance, is why those goofy Coors Light press conference ads only feature retired coaches. Chastened -- and no doubt reveling in the attention -- Diageo trotted out the Captain himself to issue a statement via PR Newswire this afternoon.
"Captain Morgan here, as you know I believe in celebrating legendary times with my fans and my friends and always doing so in a socially responsible manner. I am a man of action, a man of the moment, and I always make fun a priority. And when it comes to football what is more fun than a touchdown? I believe in drinking responsibly, marketing responsibly and helping charities too, but understand my friends at the NFL's perspective. I will continue in my quest for legendary times and ask my fans to do the same."