Gillette Doesn’t Fear the Beard (And They’re Certainly Not Jinxing the Red Sox)

With the Sox in the World Series, a lot of people in Boston aren’t shaving these days, but a Gillette spokesperson says that’s OK.

Scraggly, unkempt beards have become the symbolic representation of the Red Sox determination to bring home the World Series trophy in 2013.

And in a time when razor retailers are already having trouble adjusting to the shift in facial hair preferences, people might think that the innovators behind the blades are pulling at their shirt collars trying to figure out what to do about the excessive promotion of putting down the razor, and going for the natural look.

But at Gillette, they’re embracing the movement, especially during the World Series.

“There is trend when it comes to the playoff beard. It’s something we have dealt with before,” says Susan Oguche, spokesperson for Gillette, which has headquarters in Fort Point. “It’s for a particular purpose … it’s to support the team,” and they understand that.

Oguche wouldn’t specify if the company plans to help Sox fans get a cleaner look once the series comes to an end, no matter the outcome, but they have hosted events in the past. “I’m not at liberty to divulge,” she says, weary of the superstition that comes with being a sports fan. “We are looking at a few ways to participate, though. We don’t want to jinx anything, so we don’t want to be too loud about those plans.”

In August, news came out that razor sales in general took a major hit with fewer people turning to the blades to get a clean shave. Market professionals said there were several factors contributing to the decline, including the acceptance of stubble. The rally behind the Red Sox sure didn’t help as the team offered $1 tickets to people with beards, and created a guide on how to identify players by their facial hair. Not to mention their the slogan “Fear the Beard,” which a company like Gillette would take quite literally.

While the beard-tugging Red Sox can’t take all the blame for the dip in razor sales (discount razor websites have also put a dent in the major market), Gillette has been doing its best to welcome all forms of facial hair, priding themselves in being a “men’s grooming” company.

For the second time ever, the razor company has partnered with Movember, a health charity organization, to celebrate a month of mustache-growing to raise awareness and combat prostate and testicular cancer. On Tuesday, they will have a shave-off event to jumpstart Movember, at Gillette Stadium, with New England Patriots wide receiver Danny Amendola and New England Revolution defender Kevin Alston.

And while other sports affiliates tend to their mustaches for the next month, when the time comes, Gillette will likely do something to help members of the Red Sox do away with their hair, like they did with the Bruins in 2011, as soon as the season is over. “We have done a lot of celebratory shave-type events over the years, so I don’t think this will be different,” says Oguche.

  • Stuart Braun

    Personally, long beards are rather disgusting – I can’t imagine playing professional athletics in an uncomfortable, scruffy, unattractive, potentially grimy long beard, unless one feels more comfortable in a beard than unshaven, if one is into a Samson fetish, if one is a fan of the House of David crew of long ago, or of the ultra-orthodox rabbi presence. I become very uncomfortable when unshaven.

    On the other hand, a well-trimmed beard and -maintained is rather stylish, a la Matt Carpenter of the Cardinals.