SBD/January 27, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Seahawks' Run To Super Bowl Could Create Marketing Boon For Players

Wilson's down-to-earth personality is seen as a positive for brands
The Seahawks’ run to Super Bowl XLVIII has "drawn the nation’s eyes to a collection of relatively underpaid and underexposed athletes," and the "sudden ascent from regional celebrity to national fame can be worth millions in endorsement deals with national advertisers," according to Angel Gonzalez of the SEATTLE TIMES. Jamie Fritz, the agent for Seahawks CB Richard Sherman, said, "Brands are interested. Obviously this past week, the explosion in social media, the fact that he's trending in Poland, the fact that he's anything everybody's talking about is phenomenal." But Gonzalez wrote "no one stands to win more than down-to-earth" QB Russell Wilson. Wilson's agent, Mark Rodgers, said that last year he "added Microsoft and Alaska Airlines to endorsement deals with Nike, Pepsi and insurance company American Family." Rodgers said, “Russell has begun to create a personality and a personal brand that corporate America is fascinated by." Rodgers said Wilson in the last year and a half has received a “very steady flow” of opportunities. Rodgers: “Over the last week or so it’s escalated." Meanwhile, Gonzalez noted local endorsements are a "critical part" of the players' income. Sherman has "plenty of local deals, starting with telecommunications provider CenturyLink, regional lender Kiel Mortgage and Sunset Chevrolet." Last week, the Sumner-based Chevy dealership "proudly posted a banner on its website, titled 'Shoppin’ with Sherm.'" Fritz declined to say how much Sherman "made from ad deals, but said that they 'pay Richard more than the Seattle Seahawks.'" Fritz said brands are "excited at the fact that in a world that is full of media training and everybody is so P.C., here’s a guy who’s willing to speak his mind" (SEATTLE TIMES, 1/26). 

NORTH OF THE BORDER: In N.Y., Gerald Narciso wrote along with the team’s 12th Man fan group, the Seahawks have "found similar allies north of the border" in Vancouver, B.C. Footprints of "Seahawks mania can be found everywhere around town." TV ratings also have "soared in Canada." On social media, the Seahawks Canada Facebook page has "more than 2,100 likes, and the Twitter page has more than 4,900 followers -- a 1,600-follower increase since the start of the season." The Seahawks organization is "aware of its growing fan base in Vancouver as well as around the Pacific Northwest," as it organized "viewing parties around Vancouver for the NFC championship game and is planning to do the same for the Super Bowl" (N.Y. TIMES, 1/26).
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