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He Didn't Exactly Give Shirt Off His Back, but Gift Was Super

February 26, 1989

Call it a "super" stroke of advertising luck.

As the San Francisco 49ers drove downfield in the final seconds of last month's Super Bowl, network cameras kept flashing back to coach Bill Walsh. Standing next to Walsh was reserve quarterback John Paye--wearing a sweat shirt emblazoned with the distinctive red, brown and green logo and name of Fox & Carskadon/Better Homes & Gardens, a national real estate brokerage firm based in San Francisco.

Considering that about half of America was watching the game--and that a mere 30-second commercial spot would have cost hundreds of thousands of dollars--Paye's sweat shirt provided some valuable free advertising for the brokerage firm.

Emmett J. Cashin III, the realty firm's president, says he sent the sweat shirt to his friend Paye a few days before the 49ers played--and beat--the Cincinnati Bengals. He didn't expect Paye to wear the top during the game, but he isn't complaining about the publicity.

"The response to our sweat shirt has been nothing short of amazing," says Cashin. A spokeswoman for the firm can't estimate how much new business the free advertising will generate, but says the company has received more than 25 calls from Fox & Carskadon brokers across the nation complimenting management for its marketing genius--even though the results were unexpected.

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