In sports, we talk a lot about how to maximize a player’s monetary value. Sports are unlike any other profession where the player’s only have a limited number of years to cash in on their greatest asset. Luckily for these high-class athletes the years that they are viable, they get paid a great sum of money to entertain the public with their athleticism. The ability to market themselves can also be a way for them to increase their value. For anyone who been around the New England Patriots organization, they know that a fundamental philosophy of the team is to say as little as possible. This has certainly been the case with the team’s best and most popular player over the last 17 years, Thomas Edward Brady. For years, Brady has done little to promote himself or enhance his following until he started his own TB12 brand. Brady then started selling everything under the sun from hats, to sweatshirts, to cookbooks. Brady even has his own TB12 rehabilitation center at Patriots Place, which is located outside of Gillette Stadium where the team plays. Brady who is typically an extremely private person has even started to leak out little details about his life in order to market his products better. There have been numerous articles written about his diet, workout regimen, and even his sleep patterns. Most of these articles have the underlying tone of trying to market the products that promote his brand.
What has stood out recently is Brady’s ever increasing presence on social media. His first Facebook post came back in 2011 and his posts have become more frequent. This season Brady has started to post his own version of a newspaper called “TB Times”, where he creates headlines from the teams most recent game. This carton depiction of Brady and his teammates has become very popular and after winning the AFC championship the fake newspaper headline was shared close to 62,00 times. What is consistent in these posts is that in the bottom right hand corner of the newspaper is an advertisement for TB12 gear with a link to the TB12 store.
Up until this January, Facebook was the only form of social media that Brady used. As his brand continues to grow he has started to find new avenues in which to promote himself. Brady went “live” on Facebook and like a college athlete deciding which school to attend, he chose between 4 different types of social media in which is experiment with next. The winner in this case was Instagram. Immediately Brady gained hundreds of thousands of followers and is currently being followed by 1.1 million people. Brady uses these posts to promote everything from his brand, to his team, and even his teammates. The way that he is using social media is a fantastic example of an athlete using his marketability to get a message out to millions of people in a short amount of time. This is clearly a model that athletes all around the world should embrace in order to connect with their fans.