Some NFL players have such big personalities that they become well-known in the mainstream media outside of sports media. Marshawn Lynch is one such player, famously earning the nickname “Beast Mode” for his powerful running style. It’s been a couple of years since Lynch retired from the league. But he’s not the type of person to stay out of the spotlight just because his playing career is over.
The 35-year-old has recently made history, working with the NFLPA in a new role created by the players’ union. And Lynch may be the perfect person to first hold the position.
Marshawn Lynch becomes the NFLPA’s first brand ambassador
The NFLPA issued a press release to announce Lynch’s new role with the organization, serving as “the union’s first-ever chief brand ambassador.” The statement explains that the former running back will be tasked with “support[ing] the development of players past, present, and future both on and off the football field.”
Lynch will work with NFLPA leadership to ensure the group’s 2,000-plus members “get the most out of football.” The Super Bowl champion will provide strategic support and insights for the athlete-driven programs and revenue growth opportunities that are available to the players.
The NFLPA’s mission is advocating for players
The role of brand ambassador is a natural extension of what the NFLPA does: advocating for current and former NFL players. Since its establishment in 1956, the union has assured “proper recognition and representation of players’ interests.” Upon the formation of the union, the players used their collective bargaining power to compel owners to provide them with basic necessities, like clean uniforms and safer equipment.
The NFLPA does whatever is necessary to protect players’ rights, including ceasing to be a union back in 1989. It was again officially recognized as the players’ union starting in 1993. At the time, it negotiated a landmark collective bargaining agreement with the league, giving players free agency for the first time in NFL history. Owners received a salary cap in return.
In recent CBA negotiations, the NFLPA achieved expanded roster sizes, increased minimum salaries, and advanced safety measures for players. The union also negotiates retirement and insurance benefits and provides assistance to community and charitable organizations on behalf of its members.
Lynch’s NFL career and why he fits his new role well
As Pro Football Reference reports, Lynch played 12 seasons, seven with the Seahawks, after his career began with the Bills. Buffalo chose the running back 12th overall in the 2007 draft, and he started strong.
Lynch was named to the NFL All-Rookie Team in 2007 and had back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons in his first two years. He finished his career with 94 total touchdowns and more than 10,000 rushing yards. The five-time Pro Bowler won Super Bowl XLVIII with the Seahawks, cementing his NFL legacy.
Lynch originally retired in 2016, but he returned to the league to play for his hometown Raiders in 2017. He retired again after the 2019 season but hasn’t ruled out another return if a Super Bowl contender shows interest.
In retirement — permanent or temporary — Lynch is a perfect fit to be the union’s brand ambassador. The entrepreneur owns a marketing firm that represents athletes, so he has experience helping players off the field. Lynch has a unique plan. He wants to “put them in positions to be successful in every facet of their lives from building businesses based on their passions to of course takin’ care of their mentals and stackin’ their chicken.”