SBD/January 23, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Seahawks' Sherman Sees Spike In Marketability, Becomes Face Of Super Bowl

Sherman's agent said the player will sign new deals, but after the Super Bowl
Seahawks CB Richard Sherman's postgame rant Sunday after beating the 49ers "might have cost him some fans, but experts say it's also likely to earn him something else: more money," according to CNBC's Scott Wapner. Sherman appears in new ads for Beats by Dre and Nike that debuted on Sunday, and he is "likely to win more endorsements," especially if the Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII. Vitrus Investment Partners Chief Market Strategist and CNBC contributor Joe Terranova said Sherman will get more endorsements because "he's got the performance on the field to back it up." Wapner added of Sherman's rant, "It didn't appear to be a calculated move by any stretch of the imagination" ("Fast Money Halftime Report," CNBC, 1/21). In L.A., David Horsey wrote Sherman's actions have "made him a central character in television’s biggest annual show, the Super Bowl, and that makes his boorish behavior a brilliant career move." Those who think Sherman has hurt his own career "are mistaken." Although he "starts with a bad impression," Sherman now "has a stage from which he can shape that image by showing the world his flamboyant style and good humor." Sherman is "the most talked-about player and the most sought-after interview subject in the days before the big game." He will soon be "sought after by commercial sponsors who will make him very rich" (LATIMES.com, 1/22). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said Sherman "understands he's got a full week in New York City at the confluence of power and economics in this country." Kornheiser: "He's looking for major endorsement , and he is going to say to everybody with a microphone, 'Over here, I am open for business'" ("PTI," ESPN, 1/21).

ALREADY PAYING OFF? AD AGE's McCarthy & Bulik report QSRs and beverage companies are "particularly interested" in Sherman for both "traditional and digital ad campaigns." Jamie Fritz, Sherman's marketing agent, indicated that the Pro Bowler is only interested in "national, multi-year partnerships, not one-off deals." Fritz added that Sherman is "not signing new deals until after" the Super Bowl. McCarthy and Bulik note that is a "risk," but his price "will only go up" if he plays well in the game (ADAGE.com, 1/23). Artigue Agency Principal Ray Artigue indicated that Sherman could land endorsements for "companies with core male audiences looking to market machismo." Artigue: "A little bit of bravado can go a long way in the sports industry relative to popularity and ringing the cash register" (AZCENTRAL.com, 1/21). But ESPN's Stephen A. Smith said Sherman "needs to be careful." Smith: "He seems to be just as dedicated to his marketability as he is to his play on the field, and he's willing to be the pariah, the hated guy, the bad guy" ("First Take," ESPN2, 1/21).

LIVING IN THE LIMELIGHT
: Sherman held a press conference following practice yesterday, and in Seattle, Larry Stone writes, "If you thought that Sherman would be cowed or shellshocked, somehow chastened by the furor from his postgame interview with Erin Andrews, well, you don’t know him well enough." Sherman was "clearly a man who felt perfectly comfortable in his skin" (SEATTLE TIMES, 1/23). Sherman, when asked if he can imagine what Super Bowl Media Day is going to be like, laughed and said, "I really can't. But I imagine it's going to be fun, and I'll embrace it, and I’ll have my teammates there, and we'll enjoy the moment, man" (SEATTLETIMES.com, 1/22). ESPN's Ed Werder noted Sherman is "going to command a lot of attention" next week and he is "going to have a lot of opportunities" to get in front of the cameras ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 1/22).
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