Endorsement Power: The Richard Sherman Effect

In career success, is it the performance or the hype that makes you successful?

If you watch sports channels today, you know that it is impossible to avoid seeing reporters discuss the Erin Andrews’s post-game interview with Richard Sherman after the Seattle Seahawks vs. the San Francisco 49ers NFC championship game.

While sports fans and sports reporters are trying to figure out what to make of Sherman’s rant about himself and 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree, advertisers are busy capitalizing on the controversy.

Here are some interesting numbers.  In 2013, Richard Sherman earned $560,000 playing football.   Today, CNN.com reports that Sherman, after the Andrews’ interview, could make $5,000,000 from endorsements.

While watching one sportscast this morning, I saw these two commercials in sequence:

  • A commercial in which Richard Sherman endorsed Beats Electronics®headphones by Dr Dre
  • A commercial in which Erin Andrews endorsed TruBiotics® probiotic supplements.

It is an interesting coincidence that the two commercials appeared together.

In the movie “Jerry McGuire,” Cuba Gooding, Jr.’ s character rants to Tom Cruise playing Jerry McGuire. “Show me the money!”

What the character perhaps should have said to his agent, “Show me the endorsements!”

It’s the athletic performance not the controversy that sells products. The reason that Fox Sports selected Richard Sherman for the interview with Erin Andrews is that Sherman made the game-clinching play to seal the victory for the Seahawks over the 49ers.  The controversy and media hype came after the interview.  The Beats Electronics® would have likely featured Richard Sherman without the media response to the interview with Andrews.  Going into the game, 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick had been the player featured in the commercials. Michael Jordan is still at the top of endorsement charts.  Jordan makes more money today than he did when he played basketball.

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