Thursday, July 1, 2010

SEAHAWKS: New player, executive and soft-drink signings?

Since hiring their new Head Coach Pete Carroll, the Seahawks have been on a mad rush to sign talent. The belief of the newly installed regime is that competition, at every position, will bring out the best in their players. This week is no different with Seattle adding a new player and reconnecting partners from seasons past.

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New Player

Just a week after claiming Kevin Ellison from the San Diego Chargers via waivers last Tuesday, nobody was really surprised when Seattle waived him again after he failed a physical. Fast forward another week and the safety out of USC is back on the team with a reworked contract.

Seahawks GM John Schneider thinks Ellison could be an effective piece of the puzzle, considering the former All-Pac-10 player’s knowledge of the coaching scheme to be installed by Uncle Pete.

"Coach Carroll and I are excited to add Kevin's intensity to the competition at the safety position. He has a feel for our system, and although he is a late addition, we believe he can step in and challenge for a roster spot."

New Executive

In a move certain to ruffle some feathers in ‘Frisco, the Seahawks have also added Scot McLoughan, the 49ers former GM, as their senior personnel executive. The 39-year-old left San Francisco in March citing undisclosed personal reasons. McLoughan was acquired from the Seahawks in 2005 and, as the 49ers’ GM, helped rebuild an underperforming roster.

"It's huge for us because Scot is one of the most respected personnel people in the league," Seahawks General Manager John Schneider said Monday. "He played a critical role in helping the Seahawks become a Super Bowl team [in 2005] and did a great job in rebuilding the 49ers over the last few years."

"We're very fortunate to add someone of Scot's caliber," Schneider said. "Scot is not only an experienced leader but he is also extremely loyal."

Soft-Drink Shake Up?

Jones is out and Coke is back, at Qwest Field that is. After three years being the exclusive supplier of soft-drinks to the Seahawks, the Jones Soda Company declined to renew their contract with the team in a statement released Wednesday. The announcement follows three months after Alaska Airlines and Horizon Air terminated their contracts with Jones after less than two years.

The change of heart likely boils down to money. Jones, a Seattle-based company that gained popularity in the 90’s, is on their fourth CEO in three years. The company’s income has shrunk from $5 million last December to just $2.4 million in March.

The offbeat, indepentent soda maker never disclosed the price of its contract with the Seahawks, but renewing that contract would probably have taken an enormous chunk out of their remaining marketing budget.

William Meissner, the current CEO of Jones, wants to return his company to their roots in an attempt to get the company’s finances back into the black.

“We achieved everything and more than we originally set out to do with Qwest Field and the Seahawks organization. The return of our focus on Jones’ core 12-ounce flavors in glass bottles and our need to support our efforts in markets from coast to coast created a shift in our marketing mix.”

The Seahawks announced today that they have entered into a five-year contract with Coca-Cola, the team’s supplier previous to the 2007 contract with Jones. That means no more green apple, fufu berry or blue bubble gum soda flavors.

Reach Galen Helmgren at