In the case of trash-talking cornerbacks, it seems any publicity is definitely good publicity. At least it could mean a huge payday for Richard Sherman, whose agent expects it may lead to endorsements worth $5 million for the wild commentary the Seahawks cornerback delivered following his team’s NFC Championship win over the 49ers, CNN Money reports.
Sherman became something of an instant celebrity following the play that clinched the game for the Seahawks. San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick tried to find Michael Crabtree in the end zone to win the game, but Sherman deflected the ball to a teammate who caught it for a game-icing interception. Following the brilliant defensive play, Sherman made sure to taunt the 49ers receiver, going so far as to pat Crabtree on the rear end.
But Sherman was only getting warmed up. He seized the moment at a postgame interview to declare himself “the best corner in the game” and seemed insulted that Kaepernick would throw it in his direction while he was covering such “a sorry receiver” as Crabtree. “And when you try the best corner in the game with a mediocre receiver, that’s what happens,” Sherman gleefully told a postgame interviewer.
In the days that follow, the performance launched such a storm of attention Sherman’s way that he felt the need to apologize for taking the spotlight off the memorable Seahawks win. Yet his agent wasn’t shy about saying Sherman might become one of the few defensive players in the NFL to get multi-million dollar endorsements as a result of the publicity. They just might not be Campbell’s Chunky Soup commercials.
Jamoie Fritz, the agent who represents Sherman, told CNN Money that he expects millions in new endorsements following the arrival of “new players who have come to the table who are starting the conversation,” whether or not the Seahawks win the Super Bowl. An executive creative director of Baker Street Advertising told the publication he agreed, saying “there are some who will worry because of the way he’s not afraid of opening his mouth,” but that those companies are unlikely to pick brash cornerbacks as the centerpiece of campaigns anyway.
In an interview with CNN’s Rachel Nichols the Friday following the game, Sherman projected a different image of himself — of a Compton native who persevered to attend Stanford University; of “a square, a nerd. Kind of odd, kind of awkward”; of someone who values the respect of his parents above all.
If he is going to receive millions in endorsements, it’s likely the image of a confident trash-talker that companies will want to exploit. After all, nice guys don’t finish first in the Twitter-sphere.