SBD/December 19, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Seahawks' Baldwin, Thomas Work To Build Their Brands Via Social Media, Philanthropy

Baldwin meets weekly with an agency to review his social media metrics
Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin "consciously uses" moments like an online back-and-forth with a frustrated fan to "build his personal brand," according to Jayson Jenks of the SEATTLE TIMES. Baldwin last season after a meeting with a sports marketing company "outlined his desired brand." He wants to "share his opinions, even when the Seahawks prefer he didn't," in part because he "wants to be an analyst some day." Baldwin meets with an agency each week to "go over his social media metrics." In a way it is like "analyzing stats after a game: What generated the most responses? What didn't people like? How many followers did he gain? Did posts with pictures get better reactions?" The process started when Baldwin "first met with the agency late last season and established his goals." The Seahawks media relations staff has "talked to Baldwin about not engaging in arguments, and the sports-marketing company he works with has tried to make him less emotional on Twitter." But Baldwin said, "I'm not going to just hush because the Seahawks tell me to. I don't respond to a lot of stuff, but there's stuff where I say, 'OK, I can use this to build my brand positively.'" Meanwhile, Jenks noted Seahawks S Earl Thomas had "done little to market himself outside of the game" until he decided that if he wanted to market himself or "have a voice in the Seattle community, he couldn't just be the hyper-focused football player." Then over the summer he "became the rare defensive back to sign with Nike's Jordan Brand." He also is "launching a foundation, the Earl Thomas Guardian Angel Foundation, next year to help the less fortunate" (SEATTLE TIMES, 12/18).
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