SBD/April 4, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

NFL Lockout Watch, Day 24: Brady's Involvement In Lawsuit Could Tarnish Image

Brady is named as the lead plaintiff in the players' suit against the league
Patriots QB Tom Brady is listed as the lead plaintiff in the lawsuit Brady v. the NFL and by agreeing to “allow the use of his name, Brady will forever be remembered for not just touchdowns and rings, but also a controversial court case that may shake the NFL’s foundation,” according to Ian Rapoport of the BOSTON HERALD. What is still uncertain is if the lawsuit will “put Brady’s off-the-field celebrity at stake.” Branding and advertising execs said that Brady “will likely suffer a short-term hit to his public image thanks to his link to the lockout.” SportsCorp President Marc Ganis said, “His name being first and foremost on what may turn out to be a divisive action is not a positive for him.” Ganis: “You can see that he’s doing it for union solidarity. It’s a sacrifice.” Sports Business Group President David Carter: “Most people that would invest in Tom Brady, they don’t want to have anything to do with anything that reminds people that sports is big business.” But Rapoport writes if Brady “keeps winning on the field, he could escape unscathed eventually.” Marketing Evaluations Exec VP Henry Schafer, whose company produces Q Ratings, said, “My best guess is probably it’ll have minimal impact on his image and celebrity status. Nothing seems to really move the needle when it comes to him.” Rapoport notes Brady's Q Rating is “tied” with fellow plaintiff Colts QB Peyton Manning at 66, tops in the NFL. However, Brady’s positive Q score is half Manning’s. Brady’s endorsement score in the Davie Brown Index, which measures the athlete’s ability to influence the public, “puts him in the top 15 percent of all celebrities -- on par with John Madden, Brooke Shields and Bruce Willis -- but second to Manning, 80.28 to 72.84” (BOSTON HERALD, 4/4).
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