With the Tromsø World Cup on the way, the Norwegian news is still dominated by its legend Magnus Carlsen. Thanks to a perfect (social) media campaign, the world champion candidate offers ready-to-publish (front page) headlines to the newspapers. Reading through the Norwegian media, you will not miss anything about his preparation, new sponsor deal, his income and the chef he will bring to India.
First of all about the media campaign itself. Carslen is used to media attention already since his international debut in the 2004 Wijk aan Zee tournament. In 2009, he appointed Espen Agdestein as his full time manager, and a year later, he probably learned everything about media, as part of the huge fashion/media campaign of G-Star. Ona regular basis, Carlsen visits the US, claiming a spotlight front row seat at basketball games and doing TV shows.
And even in preparation for the WCh, the buzz around the Norwegian continues. How? Carlsen is one of the very few chess players being really active on social media. Via Facebook and Twitter, Carlsen shares a big number of photos of his preparation:
I had a photoshoot last month. Here's a sneak peek.
Social media is an extremely powerful way to contact friends, fans and the media. And guess how the Norwegian newspaper (and Carlsen's sponsor!) VG's front page looked like the next day?
(published by Tarjei J. Svensen on Twitter)
With ex-beach volleyball pro Bjørn Maaseide
In general, Carlsen's photos receive about 1000 Facebook likes (out of 23.000 followers, still increasing). However, he doesn't only share pics from the 'good life' but also the 'thug life'. Honestly, after seeing those pictures, I would be a little worried for World Champion Anand.
More preparation. White to move and win, shown from black's side.
I solved this study. Can you?
White to move and draw (shown from black's side).
Carlsen in the media
With those posts on social media, Carslen stays on the radar for both fans and media. And the Norwegian newspapers, like all media, are highly influenced by self-promotional publicity. In fact, they are even searching for more and more news!
The Chef (link)
Newspaper Dagblated published a story on Carlsen's upcoming inspection in Chennai and the role of the private chef Carlsen will bring: "He will save Carlsen from stomach upset in India. Nothing is left to chance in the World Championships", the news paper tops. Carlsen's team will fly this Saturday to India for a five-day inspection of the conditions in India. They are a bit concerned about the bacterial flora (which is different compared with Norway) and the discipline in the Indian kitchens. Besides a chef, Carslen will also have a private doctor with him during the match.
The new sponsor (link)
Economic newspaper DN reported about a new sponsor deal, which associates Carslen for three year to the company Nordic Semiconductor. It is the fifth (and final) main sponsor for the Norwegian. Because of Carlen's permanent appearance in the media, the young star is worth a lot of money - no wonder the sponsors are waiting for him. According to DN, Carlsen's current balance is at around 12M NOK ($ 2M / € 1,5M). This year, Carslen will make € 750.000 ($ 1M) out of sponsor deals. The winner of the World Championships deserved another € 1.15M ($1.5M).
Carlsen: "I am very grateful that I can live on something I think is fun to do. Besides that, I'm not thinking so much about the financial part."
Too weak, too slow
For all chess fans, Carlsen also posted a video from a blitz game against French top-GM Laurent Fressinet:
Please make some special attention to the endgame book (Carlsen lost some endgames lately), the apple (eat healthy), two tennis balls (sports!), the fun Carlsen demonstrates and the title of the video (too weak, too slow). It is not just a random video. It's a perfect self promotion.
And of course, it led to new rumors: is the Frenchmen in Carlsen's team for the match? The story will continue...