Richard Sherman… a “Thug” or a Marketing Genius?

Jan 30 2014

The story of Richard Sherman received a lot of coverage. This media blow-up was all due to just a few comments made by Sherman post making the game-winning tip in the end-zone which took the Seahawks to the Super Bowl. Let me preface this by saying I’m a born and raised Denver native, so I’ll still be rooting for my Broncos in the SB48. However, as a marketer, I can’t help but notice the sheer momentum a couple comments made after the big game and the goldmine created for Mr. Richard Sherman.

Diving deeper into the media’s uncoverings, Sherman avoided a serious confrontation in the end zone with rival and 49ers player, Crabtree, by not responding to a shove after the interception was made. With the rise of the story in the media and negative comments towards Sherman, attention was soon shifted toward his intelligent and highly accredited background. Ahead of their game, some very sexy brands began to pick up on his spotlight.

One brand in particular, Beats by Dre scooped up the opportunity to leverage his negative media attention and spin off a satirical ad based on the controversial comments made to Sherman by the public. The video made more than 2 million views on YouTube in less than a week. Beats by Dre made a successful move by engaging the media while at the same time staying on brand by maintaining the current campaign slogan, “Hear What You Want”.

Marketing 101 tells us to take advantage of the given situation. Similarly when Justine Sacco spouted off on her personal Twitter the story gained traction very quickly. When the right brands heard they jumped on the opportunity to turn negative comments into good, which resulted in taking donations for AIDS research.

Both stories, albeit different endings, all started from someone saying something “in the moment”, and gave the traditional media outlets and social media the opportunity to make something more meaningful out of these hot button comments.

I’d say for Richard Sherman, he might have been amped up after the game, but he’s clearly no idiot. Perhaps this was even pre-planned to help spur quite a bit of attention and lucrative results? Needless to say, Mambo Media will happily help build another campaign should he want to have another “thug” moment on national television. #JustSaying

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