It’s still August, but Tom Brady is already earning yet another title.
A survey conducted by Sports Business Daily named Brady the NFL’s Most Marketable Player. In typical Brady fashion, his victory came with a flair for the dramatics. The New England Patriots quarterback beat out fellow thrower Patrick Mahomes of Kansas City with two more points (117-115). That pair, combatants in January’s AFC Championship Game, held a comfortable lead over the third-place finisher, Cleveland receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
According to SBD, the survey was conducted amongst 40 experts, including “marketing/branding execs, sports business professors and both print and on-air football media”. Correspondents listed the top five players they believed were among the NFL’s marketable players. First-place votes were worth five points with each subsequent lower position worth one less.
Conventionally, a 42-year old quarterback rarely tops lists such as these. Brady, however, has proven himself to be a worthy exception. He’s already known for his on-field prowess, as February saw him win his record sixth Super Bowl title. Voters also noted that Brady has made a strong impact with no football being played as well. They praised Brady’s strong list of endorsements as well as his TB12 performance line.
Also considered was Brady’s jersey sales, which routinely top the league rankings. Brady was also praised for maintaining a strong prescience on social media. His 11.4 million followers across the three major platforms (Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) are second in the NFL to only Russell Wilson. The Seattle quarterback would go on to place 11th in the rankings.
“What makes a player marketable is their ability to connect with and influence a wide audience while still maintaining authenticity,” said Whistle Sports Senior Dir of Content Partnerships & Talent Alex Korn of Brady’s social media impact. “On top of that, engagement on social is another huge factor.”
Bespoke Sports & Entertainment CEO Mike Boykin remarked that Brady has the “rare combination of success and an incredible work ethic.”
“He always seems to do and say the right thing.”
The voters also had plenty of praise for Mahomes, who is set to enter his second year as the Chiefs’ quarterback. In his first tour, Mahomes, 23, became the third quarterback in NFL history to throw 50 touchdown passes. He also guided Kansas City to their first conference title game since 1993.
Experts believe that, should Mahomes keep up his historic pace, he should reach the top of the rankings fairly soon.
Nine of the ten names in the rankings came from the offensive side of the ball.
The lone exception was Houston’s JJ Watt, who came in a seventh-place tie with New Orleans quarterback Drew Brees. The top five was rounded out by Cleveland’s Baker Mayfield and Saquon Barkley of the New York Giants.
Also appearing in the top ten was Green Bay’s Aaron Rodges, newcomer receiver Juju Smith-Schuster of the Pittsburgh Steelers, and Dak Prescott of the Dallas Cowboys.