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Volume 26 No. 207
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Brands Not Shying Away From Baker Mayfield Despite Past Slip-Ups

Browns QB Baker Mayfield "figured to be a difficult sell" as an endorser after several on- and off-field incidents in college, but "quite a few sponsors have bought in" already, according to Kevin Kleps of CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS. Mayfield and his team at Waterhouse Hayes, L.A., have "secured endorsements with Nike, Panini America, Leaf Trading Cards, Bose, New Era, PSD and H&H Sports." Mayfield "convinced the Browns he had learned from his mistakes." Navigate Research Senior VP/Analytics Matt Balvanz said Mayfield has the "potential to appeal to advertisers, but brands are likely going to take a wait-and-see approach with him." Mayfield has "gained more than 638,000 combined followers on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook this year -- nearly two-thirds of his total following of 963,000, as of May 24." The 10 episodes of "Behind Baker," the Facebook Watch series following Mayfield leading up to the NFL Draft, "accumulated more than 9 million views in the first seven weeks and are just the start of what Mayfield's marketing team said will be an extended, behind-the-scenes look" at him. Waterhouse Hayes co-Founder Patrick Hayes said that another four-part series "could follow." Waterhouse Hayes co-Founder Lindsey Waterhouse "admits there have been some 'mixed reviews' from potential sponsors." But said that Mayfield has the "charisma to quickly win them over." The buzz around Mayfield being selected No. 1 overall in the Draft "resulted in what Waterhouse described as 'a lot of one-off offers leading up to the draft' -- social media posts in which Mayfield would get compensated for plugging a brand." But Mayfield "wants a long-term fit with a sponsor." 16W Marketing Partner Steve Rosner said that the "next potential targets for a rookie of Mayfield's caliber would be companies in Northeast Ohio" (CRAIN'S CLEVELAND BUSINESS, 5/28 issue).