Richard Sherman could stand to make about $5 million in endorsements — all because of his 15-second rant moments after helping the Seattle Seahawks get to the Super Bowl.
Sherman, a defensive back, made the play that secured Seattle’s 23-17 win over San Francisco on Jan. 19. Immediately after the play, he did a TV interview proclaiming that he was the best cornerback in the National Football League, and dissing the opposing player who he had foiled on the play.
Sherman’s agent, Jamie Fritz, told CNNMoney that interest in his clients has boomed since the remarks. While Sherman’s current endorsements amount to just a bit more than his $550,000 NFL salary, Fritz believes there are millions in deals that will be signed soon, — some before the Super Bowl is played Feb. 2.
“We have some new players who have come to the table who are starting the conversation,” Fritz said.
The remarks caused an immediate sensation — positive and negative — in social media and on sports talk radio, among fans accustomed to bland comments from winning players.
Some advertisers fret about the controversy generated by the rant. But Fritz thinks the rant was more positive than negative for Sherman’s image.
“I think that he’s more likeable,” he said. “People love this. The brand managers love this.”
As the adage goes, there’s no such thing as bad press.
“He’s going to be the very hot interview in next couple of weeks. I’m sure you’re see someone take advantage of him,” said Jordan Schlachter. executive vice president, sports for The Marketing Arm, a firm that arranges endorsement deals.
Bob Dorfman, editor of the Sports Marketers Scouting Report and executive creative director of Baker Street Advertising, said that the NFL’s defensive players don’t get the endorsements that offensive stars such as Denver quarterback Peyton Manning get. So the rant has elevated Sherman in advertisers’ eyes.
“I think there are some who will worry because of the way he’s not afraid of opening his mouth, eventually he’ll say something that really gets him in trouble,” said Dorfman. “But a lot of those advertisers don’t use athletes anyway
Endorsement money is hard to come by in the NFL unless you are one of the chosen sweethearts, Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, or Aaron Rodgers. You see the similarity? The opportunities are even less if the player earns his money on the defensive side of the ball.
Hell, we’ll talk a lil’ trash for $5 million.
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