The April 26th NFL Draft will introduce the world to a number of very talented and well spoken young men. The question that those Mad Men on Madison Avenue will be asking is a simple one: Of all these new members of the NFL, who will make the best pitchman?
Someone that will be able to sell everything from tennis shoes to cars? In short, the next Peyton Manning, a natural born salesman.
To answer that question I went to Ronn Torossian, CEO of New York based 5WPR, a top PR Agency, who has represented celebrities including Sean “Diddy” Combs, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, and athletes including Allan Houston, Roy Jones Jr., Hulk Hogan, Jalen Rose to name just a few.
B/R: So what goes into picking the right player who can be a spokesman?
Just as ranking the top players on the field is no easy gig, ranking the top five players in the upcoming NFL Draft for marketing isn’t any easier. There are a lot of variables involved.
Which city will the player end up in – Of course a Los Angles or New York based player can accomplish much more on the marketing front than a player in a market like Phoenix or Seattle. Will the player become a playboy, or will he learn how to dress better – there are many factors which can affect where we would draft a player in a NFL Marketing draft. All of these players will have to deal with be famous millionaires in a short duration of time, and need to analyze every single off-the field decision they make, and keep a solid off-the-field team around them they can trust (Driver, PR Advisor, Agent, Financial Consultants, etc.)
Football is a more difficult sport to market athletes in than some others for a variety of reasons – including that their faces are covered, giving them an instant disadvantage vs certain other sports. Of course, there are also precious few superstar positions for a football player wanting to get endorsement deals – If one’s not a quarterback, wide receiver or running back – even harder to get deals.
Being a winner on the football field doesn’t mean one is necessarily a winner off the field, and they need to be able to balance the tremendous amount of pressure on anyone in the spotlight -- money, fame and women. Having worked with professional athletes and high-profile celebrities, the pressure and demands are nonstop.
Lets break it down.