Friday, November 27, 2015

No More Cheering in Football

by Julie Wood

While at a Detroit Lions game on October 18, two super fans, known as Superfan and Detroit Dan were kicked out for cheering too loudly. These two fans have been to approximately 125 straight games to cheer on their favorite football team. The incident happened during the third quarter while the Lions were on defense. These two superfans were not being obnoxious, drunk, or out of control. They were simply cheering for their 0-5 Detroit Lions football team.

Superfan and Detroit Dan shared their experience and emotions immediately following ejection in this video:

No More Cheering in Football

So you’re telling me that two super fans got kicked out of a professional football game for cheering on a third down while their team was on defense? Erroneous! And what has the NFL been trying to do lately? BOOST ticket sales! I thought the NFL was trying to encourage the fan experience? After reading this article it doesn’t appear that they are doing a very good job selling that message. I literally had to read the article three times to fathom the fact that Detroit yes Detroit, would kick fans out for being loud and “unruly.” I could see this happening if it was a more conservative team like the Tennessee Titans, no offense to Titans fans for an organization that has created such a family oriented and boring experience. But we are talking about the Detroit lions, Detroit isn’t a conservative prissy city.

After reading some of the Facebook posts from the video posted from Superfan himself with the one who calls himself “Detroit Dan(That has to be the Greatest Superfan nicknames ever) was posted right after getting kicked out and everyone commenting was outraged. I read through some of the interviews and Facebook post, and I can’t gather any information that would come to the conclusion to kick the two super fans out.

Detroit Relies on Its Sports Teams

What really has me confused is this is all coming from a town that is financially struggling yet this town clings on to nothing more than Lions Football and Red Wings Hockey. My real question is who is in charge of event management? I mean you are kicking two guys out who have never had one complaint in 2 decades. Someone in this organization needs to take responsibility for this and make it right. Heck roll the red carpet out because we are talking about TWO DECADES of losing. These two guys are exactly what the NFL needs, dedicated fans that will come to 126 games consecutively. I can promise you no one is kicking New York Jets super fan Fireman Ed out of Metlife Stadium anytime soon!

Marketing Aspects

I know there is a fine line between cheering for your team and being obnoxious to the fact you are disrupting from other fans experiences. From a marketing aspect you need to make sure your buyers are well aware of the fact that they are going to a sporting event. Sporting events are loud and sometimes crazy but stadiums can have different sections for different types of fans. There are family sections, super fan sections, student sections, and other types of sections depending on what type of event. Teams can promote those certain sections for their buyers and help keep the fan experience a positive one for each type of fan to whom they are selling .

Julie Wood is a senior leisure, sport, and tourism studies major at Middle Tennessee State University.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Luke McCown: Verizon Spokesman and Star Quarterback?

by Sam Lewis

Luke McCown is an NFL Quarterback who was drafted out of Louisiana Tech by the Cleveland Browns in 2004. He has since played for five different teams and only started 10 games. He is an anonymous backup whose only major in-game responsibility is to hold a clipboard. So what is he doing in a national TV commercial? McCown landed a spot as the pitchman in the following two commercials, talking about Verizon’s backup generators:

The commercials themselves are genius. They are both very funny, and McCown presents himself well. These two short TV spots made waves in the sports media world. Since the ads began running, Luke McCown has gotten more national attention than he has ever had. This also means Verizon’s message has been getting national exposure as well. Social media caught on, and comments went back and forth, both poking fun at and admiring the ads. People shared them with their friends and talked about them on radio and television shows. But no one predicted the seemingly prophetic quality they had.

Backup Pressed into Action

In the Saints week 2 tilt against the Buccaneers, starting Quarterback Drew Brees injured his right shoulder, and was ruled out for the Saints week 3 game. This was a shocking development that no one, including Verizon, could have seen coming. Drew Brees had not missed a single start in his time with the Saints, a period which dates back ten years. I mean, what are the chances that the one time a backup QB gets a big TV commercial, he is almost immediately thrust “into the regular rotation”, due to the injury of a star who hasn’t been hurt in a decade? And what does this mean for the ad campaign? In one of the commercials, McCown states, “I bet if some of those backups got a chance, they could really shine.” Obviously, this line was intended to draw consumers’ attention to the reliability of the Verizon network. But now it seems like the destiny of Verizon’sbackup generators rides on the success of the backup Quarterback. As Dan Hanzus of NFL Media Group tweeted on September 25:

“The fate of the Verizon Empire rides on the 34-year-old right arm of The Other McCown (Luke) on Sunday.”

Even the Saints official Twitter account got in on the action, tweeting this before Sunday’s game,

“Time to Shine”. With this picture from the commercial…

These off-hand comments were meant to be humorous, but they held some truth for Verizon. If McCown were to be a disaster on the field, on some level that would discredit the message of theadvertisements. At the very least, Verizon would have to start over with a new athlete, or, more likely, an entirely new commercial premise.

He was not a disaster, however. The Saints lost to the Carolina Panthers 27-22, but McCown played well. He completed 82% of his passes for over 300 yards, and had his team is a position to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, before Josh Norman of the Panthers made an incredible game clinching interception. So Verizon does not have to burn its “Backup Generators” campaign to the ground just yet, and with Drew Brees returning after missing just one game, the pressure is once again off “The Other McCown” and the backup generators.

What effect do you think McCown playing has on the “Backup Generators” ad campaign? Post your thoughts and comments below.

Sam Lewis is a business administration major at Middle Tennessee State University and will be graduating in December. He has had a life-long passion for sports, and  hopes to convert that passion into a career in the sports industry. His long-term goal is to work in the player operations department of a professional sports organization. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

DraftKings and FanDuel under Scrutiny

Daily Fantasy sports are starting to get questions about legitimacy as well as legality.

by Enoch Patterson

Daily fantasy sports are one of the fastest growing and most popular trends in Fantasy games currently. The two major websites in the industry, DraftKings and FanDuel, have fallen under scrutiny in the past few weeks when a DraftKings employee admitted to “inadvertently releasing data before the start of week 3 NFL games.” That same employee went on to win $350,000 that same week on Rival site, FanDuel. While DraftKings continues to say that this employee did not use inside information to set his winning lineup, users of both sites are starting to become more skeptical about the legitimacy of the sites. When games that surrounding risking money to win money start to receive questions about their own employees cheating, it is not a very good look for the company at all. 

While this is the first incident of its kind by either of these websites, most players probably will cut them some slack; I know I am as a user personally of DraftKings. This may have been merely a coincidence that that employee won that money, or perhaps he did have inside information we will truly never know more than likely, but most people including me are willing to give them the benefit of the doubt, at least this time. However some other interesting statistics have increased my concerns. According to recent research by Sports Business Daily over a three month period 1.3% of the players on DraftKings won 91% of the money given out by the site. This bring up a couple of questions, Are these 1.3% just the elite players in the world in a game they involves a good deal of luck? Or is there something else behind this that we normal players just don’t have access to? People are generally quick to try and say something is a conspiracy and I’m not willing to go that far just yet but they are certainly some interesting statistics. 

Legality of Daily Fantasy Sports

The recent scandal is only a small setback compared to what problems DraftKings and FanDuel could potentially face down the road. Problems that could virtually end 90% of their business. It was announced recently that the U.S Department of Justice and the FBI are in the early stages of investigating the legality of Daily Fantasy Sports and are trying to figure out if it is a form of gambling. DraftKings has responded and basically states that it is a game of chance and therefore it is legal. While this recent story is not directly related to the scandal of the Draft Kings employee who won $350,000 on FanDuel, you would have to think that that story certainly didn’t help by bringing negative attention that wasn’t previously there. 

Whether or not these daily fantasy sites are considered a form of gambling is yet to be seen, however some players are already taking legal action, with three class-action lawsuits being filed in just the last week. As with any business with increased popularity comes increased scrutiny as you are placed under a larger microscope. It will be interesting to see how this all plays out and to see if daily fantasy sports can continue to thrive. 

Enoch Patterson is a business administration major at Middle Tennessee State University from Murfreesboro, TN,

Monday, November 23, 2015

Is Kobe Bryant Destroying the Lakers Brand?

by Taylen Douglas

Is one of the all-time greats destroying the Lakers brand late in his career? Is Kobe Bryant, also known as the black Mamba, hurting the future business with the Lakers? Why aren’t any top free agents signing with the Lakers? Is he the problem?

Kobe Bryant the Player

Thinking about the NBA in the last decade and who has been the most effective player, a couple of names should pop but Lakers legend Kobe Bryant name would probably pop up the most. Kobe Bryant had the motivation, the will and most importantly the talent to be great. He somewhat lived up to the hype most may consider him the second best shooting guard of all time. Bryant entered the league as lanky 18 year-old fearless to any competition. He had a unique personality that many people questioned, but it seemed to work perfect for him. We know for sure it has worked for him for 19 years! The whole world has realized “Yeah the kid is special.”

19 years later he has all kinds of awards to show for such as:
5-time NBA champion
2-time Finals MVP
17-time NBA all-star
Los Angeles Lakers all tine leading scorer

That is only a short list of many that Bryant has received over the years.

Kobe Bryant the Brand

A big time athlete receives a lot of attention, and if you carry yourself well as a professional many top companies will take notice and will want you to be a part of their brand. Kobe Bryant being a great athlete has attracted many endorsements over the years which earned him millions for himself despite minor run-ins with the law. Not only has he made millions for himself he has also had a positive effect on the Lakers. Being the face of the franchise, he is one of the main reasons that arenas stay filled. Even when the Lakers have had bad seasons the marketing department could always count on marketing Kobe Bryant, Lakers legend.

The Downfall of Greatness

As the years have passed, the same personality that made Kobe may be the same reason the Lakers haven’t seen as much success. The Lakers went through a tough time when they weren’t winning many games, and Lakers fans started to think the Kobe era had come to an end. But, after a couple of off-season moves everyone thought they were back. They acquired Dwight Howard and Steve Nash. Although they acquired those two all-stars the combination didn’t last long. Nash was injured and Bryant’s personality and Howard’s personality clashed which caused him to leave L.A. Back to square one, the Lakers continued to lose and depend on free agency. During each free agency period since then, analysts suggested that the big time free agents would find their way to L.A. Year after year these free agents went elsewhere. Free agents such as Lebron James, Carmelo Anthony, Chris Bosh, Kevin Love , and Marc Gasol to name a few. Many fans and analysts blame Kobe Bryant's selfish personality for not getting other big players to want to play with him.

Hurting the Lakers' Business?

Not only are the Lakers not getting any big time players, they aren’t winning many games and paying Kobe a $48.5 million dollar contract. With Kobe aging and the Lakers losing games, it is hurting their business. It’s causing players to not want to play for the Lakers. The once great franchise is not even in discussion with the elite. Kobe is hurting the future potential of the Lakers. Maybe if Kobe was more accepting of the roles of other veterans like Tim Duncan and Tony Parker, the Lakers would see success like the Spurs have been seeing. Since Kobe is close to retirement, would that help the Lakers? Or would that hurt the Lakers? Would Lakers fans be happy they are losing games and still seeing Kobe play, or would they hate the fact the Kobe has retired and they are still losing?


On the bright note the Lakers have a couple of young promising players. Will Kobe teach and lead these players in the right way? Is Kobe the brand hurting the Lakers late in his career? Will Kobe’s retirement help the Lakers? With no Kobe will they see more big time players?

Taylen Douglas is a senior marketing major at Middle Tennessee State University from Jackson, Tennessee.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Video Technology: The Future of Football

by Jacob Berry

I get into the office two hours until practice. I grab my practice schedule. I format my tapes. I grab my battery. I grab my camera and head towards the practice field.  I go up in my scissor lift to check it. I come down and wait. Wait until the players and coaches start practice. And then I film. I come down in my lift once the head coach blows his whistle to signal the end of practice. I put my camera up and battery back onto the charger. I input my tapes into the computer software. I head home for the day.

I am a student working for the football video staff at Middle Tennessee State University.  This is how my day looks 2:00-6:00 p.m. every day from August to December as well as March and April for spring practice. The work of a football video guy is not a glamorous one. It’s very repetitive. It’s everyday with no days off. It’s a job I love.

The Football Evolution

Football is a sport that is constantly evolving. Offenses have gone from the wishbone to the spread.  Players are becoming faster and stronger. Every aspect of football continues to evolve and grow, including video technology. From coaches watching games on a roll of film to coaches watching a game on an iPad 30 minutes after the game concludes, video continues to influence the football world. Knowing about football and about video technology, I can see the two headed towards making a huge impact in the sports business industry.
Anyone that follows sports in America knows that football is king. Baseball may be our pastime, but football is the present and future. Both the college and professional levels bring in billions of dollars every year.  Fans are more engaged than ever before. Coaches are more pressured to win than ever before. This results in doing whatever to keep fans happy, which results in them buying merchandise and tickets. This also results in giving coaches everything needed to win.
Football fans today are so engaged with their teams. There is no longer such thing as an offseason.  Fans are fans year round. Recruiting, signing day, and spring practice are eaten up by hungry college football fans. The same for NFL fans with the combine, draft, and minicamps. In order to give these fans what they want year round, technology has to be used, especially video technology. College football fans can now go online and watch film of a high school recruit. To think an ordinary fan would be able to do this 20 years ago would be insane. Signing Day is now a televised event on multiple sports networks, like ESPN. Most big time college football teams have their spring game televised! The NFL, of course, has its own network to broadcast the combine, draft, and minicamps footage around the league.

Emergence of Video in Football

I believe this is just the tip of the iceberg. Fans have been given a small taste and now they are wanting the whole meal. Video in sports is going to explode and expand even more than thought possible. Just this year, the University of Georgia live streamed its first practice of fall camp. The access that video technology can give to fans is insane. As many people know, the University of Texas has its own network. I think that many teams are going to follow in the not so distant future.  A network designed specifically to broadcast your favorite team 24/7. Networks such as these need people. They will need producers, cameramen, and editors. The possibilities for jobs that this business could produce is endless. Video technology is going to be on the forefront of the growth of football as a business in America. It’s going to improve means by which fans can keep up with their team. It’s going to improve how coaches watch film and prepare.  It’s going to change the entire sport industry.

So as I grab my camera, batteries, and tapes for practice, I know that I am in the middle of the storm that is about to hit the sport industry.

I am a senior at Middle Tennessee State University. Ever since my first semester at MTSU, I have worked on the video staff for the university’s football team. I came into college with not much video experience, but I have gained much in my time at MTSU. The opportunities I have had working for the football team are some of the most valuable I have ever experienced. My passion for football and video have led me to want to continue my career working with video and sports. My goal is to become a video coordinator for a professional or big-time college program. I have been in contact with multiple teams, and hope to land an internship with a program next year.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Does Poor Fan Support at Home Affect a Team's Record? The Case of the Tennessee Titans

by Julia Adamowicz

I have been a Tennessee Titans fan for about 12 years. I know, it is difficult and coming off of a 2-14 record in 2014-2015 doesn’t make it any easier. However, I’ve managed to stick out my loyalty to the team, and I greatly encourage others to do the same. No more bags over our heads or jerseys turned inside-out. Please. You think seeing more opposing fans in Nissan Stadium or hearing thousands of ‘boos’ contributes to the Titans success on the field? I think not. The empty seats in Nissan Stadium must be occupied, no more opposing fans out shining us in OUR house, and no more negative remarks.

 According to ESPN, the Titans turnout in the stands is ranked 19th  in the NFL- 19 out of 32? C’mon, we can do better than that. Applaud what we have done, who we are now, and where the franchise is headed. Understand that we are rebuilding and still have a lot of growing to do. These photos are from fans in Tennessee’s stadium – this just shows, it is not our house.

 Fan Loyalty Makes a World of Difference

Attending several home games provides me with first-hand experience of dealing with obnoxious fans from opposing teams – whether it’s in front of, behind, or beside me. If I’m not happy about it, I know the players and coaching staff are not either. An article written by Tom Wood in July 2015, states, while Nissan Stadium has announced sellouts, it is obvious there is visibly declining attendance. We have 69,143 seats to fill, and they are meant for individual’s reppin’ powder blue and the sword and shield – nothing else. I am tired of the celebration being louder when the opponent scores  Steve Underwood, Titans Interim President, promised a “new look for the stadium and a new attitude from the team to lure fans back into the stands.” As a fellow Titans fan, I say we take our house back. Let’s not be a contributor of another losing season.

The Stats are There

According to and an article written by Teresa Walker, the Titans are tied for the best time of possession, holding the ball for an average of 34 minutes per game. Also, scoring an average of 25.5 points per game is a major improvement from the previous seasons 14.3 average, which ranked second to last in the NFL. Marcus Mariota, who received NFL’s Rookie of the month for September, ranks 10th among Quarterbacks with a 99.7 passer rating. That is leaps and bounds better than our former QB’s. 

Team Statistics
Total 1st Downs
Total Offensive Yds
Total Rushing Yds
Total Passing Yds
Field Goals
4th Down Conversions
The Titans lost two games early in the season by a combined 3 points. 3 POINTS. While I know fans are losing hope of being a playoff contender, that stat alone proves there is still a chance. I am confident in the Titans ability to look past the painful losses they have suffered and finish strong.

It’s on Us – Have a Little Faith
It is on the Titans fan base to help the team bounce back from a poor start. It our responsibility to energize the team – how do we do that? Make a presence. Purchasing tickets and bombarding the stadium will instill the faith and loyalty this crew needs to turn themselves around. Tennessee is still in the process of learning how to win, just be patient. Buy a ticket, show up in the rain, sit through the snow, and be louder than the person next to you. A confidence booster is as simple as being there for the team – about being a FAMILY. 

Family refers to sticking up for one another and supporting each other, no matter how difficult. A world of difference can be made by the amount of effort fans put forward. Tickets can be bought on Stub Hub, Ticketmaster, Craiglistst, scalped before the game, or from friends. There is no excuse to not attend. If you are a Titans fan, be proud of it. The team is only a play or two away from sealing several victories. I encourage you to give it time and most importantly, Titan Up – It is time to be the 12th man. Go to the games. Help make a difference. 

Julia Adamowicz is a senior leisure studies major at Middle Tennessee State University.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Serena vs Maria: The Fight for the Almighty Dollar

by Maurleda Washington
The Reason Serena is Number One
Let me take you back to 1999 when a 17 -year -old from Compton, California burst on to the scene winning the US Open like it was her destiny. That 17 year old was Serena Williams, arguably the greatest women’s tennis player of all time. Since 1999 Serena has reigned supreme atop the rankings of women’s tennis winning 21 grand slam titles (13 doubles titles), five time WTA champion, and one Olympic Gold medal (plus 3 gold medals in doubles). She’s been ranked as the number one player for 247 weeks during her career. Despite dominating the world of tennis she still doesn’t garner endorsement deals like Maria Sharapova.

Serena vs Maria
Serena has played Maria 20 times and has beaten her 16 times in a row, yet Sharapova earns almost twice as much as Serena does in endorsements. Maria Sharapova earned $29.7 million from 2014-15 between prize money and endorsement deals, $5 million more than Serena. Kurt Badenhausen, a writer for, wonders if Serena is being held back by her race, corporate bias, likeability, or beauty. Now don’t get me wrong, Serena has some top notch endorsements such as Nike (Maria Sharapova is also sponsored by Nike), Wilson, Beats by Dre, PepsiCo, Chase, and Audemars Piguet. But for what she does for the game of tennis, she deserves to be at the forefront in endorsements, not a player that can’t beat her when they go head to head. Tennis is more of a rich persons sport; people with a more affluent background. The Williams sisters brought a whole new market to tennis when they arrived on the scene. Could she be being held back by race? There’s no way that we can find concrete evidence to support this accusation, so all we can do is speculate. It was rumored that in 2014 Serena threw a match in Dubai because she didn’t want to play there because the fans were hurling racial slurs/insults her way. You can see it when she plays, she’s the clear cut favorite to win a match, but the crowd will cheer harder for her opponent than they will her.

Is Serena a Marketable Player?
Maybe companies don’t want a black person to endorse their products, this is only my opinion I can only speculate and try and figure out why the greatest women’s tennis player continues to earn less than the 3rd rank women’s tennis player in the world. Could it be that Serena’s just not likeable, people may take offense to her smashing rackets when she’s not playing up to her potential, or arguing with chair umpires or her trademark yelling of “come on” when she has her opponent right where she wants them. In a game that is more finesse than aggression, maybe here personality is too much to handle for sponsors and fans alike. In the world that we live in, beauty can sometimes get you further than your smarts. Now don’t get me wrong, Serena is attractive, but is she as attractive as Maria? Serena has a very muscular body, nice features but she’s super buff. Whereas Maria is a slender, blonde haired, white girl she’s the universal standard for what endorsers are looking for to be the face of their company. I could go back and forth on this subject all day and night the one conclusion that I hope you draw from reading this is that there is an extra burden that athletes of colors have to overcome, it’s unfair but life isn’t fair so as we sit and nit-pick on how Maria Sharapova made $5 million more dollars than Serena Williams, they both make more money than me so I think Serena will be fine.

Maurleda Washington is a senior marketing major at Middle Tennessee State University. 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Is Any Publicity Good Publicity?

by Jacob Young

Daily fantasy sports have taken over the fantasy sports spotlight. I have been playing DraftKings for several months and have been seeing their commercials on TV for about a year. Recently, DraftKings and FanDuel amped up their advertisements, coinciding with the start to the football season. Combined, the two companies spent nearly $150 million on internet and TV in the time period coinciding with the start of the football season. Fantasy football is the most popular fantasy sport. Many people don’t play fantasy basketball, baseball, hockey, etc. because the seasons are too long to keep up with a lineup to set every day. However, football gives fans a week in between games to set lineups. Hardcore fantasy football players like myself still treat fantasy football as an all week task. Sunday is game day, along with one night game on Monday. On Tuesday, play the waiver wire then check on Wednesday to see who we were able to claim and who got released that I might want to sign. There’s a game on Thursday and Friday/Saturday are days to set your lineup. So, these websites came up with an idea to make fantasy sports a truly one-time thing with no season long commitment.

Beginning the Advertisement Overhaul
I remember first hearing the commercials and seeing people win millions of dollars and assuming it was a load of crap. However, these sites grew more and more popular and this summer I began playing daily fantasy golf. At first, I would just enter free contests until I understood the concept. Then I got bolder by entering one dollar or three dollar contests with a chance for a bigger reward. I’ve never won more than five dollars in a contest, but I was successfully drawn in as a consumer. Now that the sites have gotten more consumers and a more recognizable name, they went all out for the start of football. It seems like every commercial break has a commercial for either FanDuel or DraftKings. The funny thing is, I always watch NFL RedZone for my Sunday morning and afternoon viewings of football. RedZone has no commercials, yet I still am aware of all the commercials. That is because the commercials have been so overwhelming, I’ve heard of them through social media. I follow many sports writers and personalities on Twitter and many of them have made jokes referring to the heavy dose of commercials. Even though most of this publicity has been negative towards the sites, calling the commercials annoying or criticizing their lack of diversity, it is still publicity. I’m sure if you asked if the sites would prefer to have no criticism but with no publicity, or high publicity with high criticism, they would always take the latter.

Bad Publicity?
A big reason these criticisms don’t matter is because the main target audience is people willing to gamble money. The commercials advertise as a non-gambling site, which it isn’t to an extent. But for the most part, you are spending money with the hopes to earn more which is essentially gambling. If someone enjoys gambling or gets addicted to it, they will not care about the amount of advertisements. You don’t get annoyed out of an addiction. As long as there are fans interested in investing their money with an opportunity to gain more money, daily fantasy will stay. People are lazy and the convenience of only having a one day or week dedication will continue to garner the interest of fans. General interest in sports could increase with casual sports fans as well. Anyone can play daily fantasy sports and there will be people that don’t typically watch much sports that will take a chance at winning money. Daily fantasy is similar to the lottery in a sense, except in fantasy there is some skill mixed in with the luck of it. As long as the daily fantasy sites are gaining attention, people will be attracted to the possibility of winning. Therefore, these sites are likely just fine with the negative publicity, as long as it’s any publicity.

Jacob Young is a senior journalism major at Middle Tennessee State University.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Marcus Mariota: Tennessee Titans' Marketing Savior

Image credit: (Creative Commons License)

Editor's Note: This post is the first in a series over the next several weeks authored by students currently enrolled in my sports marketing class. I hope you enjoy their take on issues of the day in sports marketing. - Don Roy

by Sydney Copp

Just who is Marcus Mariota?

There’s no doubt that he’s the talk of the NFL; certainly the talk of the Titans. But something that I keep coming back to is: what all do we really know about him?
·         He’s young.
·         He’s talented.
·         He’s fast.
·         He’s definitely wanted by the Titans.
·         His name is pronounced a certain way.

These are also the same reasons that he is the Titan’s new marketing break to reestablish a brand image. With brand endorsements like Island Insurance Co., Beats by Dre headphones, Nike and Subway, Mariota can be a marketing game-changer.

What We Know

·         We know this guy is young.
·         Endorsement deal= Subway.

Isn’t every kid’s weird dream to be endorsed by Subway? It means that you’re a real athlete. Mariota played for the Oregon Ducks for three years as a starting quarterback. Why didn’t he play the fourth year? Because the 21 year-old is now in the NFL. This is only after winning the Heisman Trophy as a junior in college, which then afterward, he decided to enter the draft. HOLY COW, BATMAN. This dude can barely drink legally, and now he’s the Titans starting QB? Does this lean more towards impressive or sad?

(Fun fact: Mariota is not the youngest guy to be drafted into the NFL. That honor belongs to Amobi Okoye, who played for the NFL’s Houston Texans when he was 19.) Read more interesting facts about NFL players.

·         We know this guy is talented.
·         Endorsement deal= Beats by Dre headphones

There’s no doubt that Mariota is a good football player. In his Hawaiian high school career during his senior year, he led an 11-0 season. During his freshman year with the Oregon Ducks, he led a 35-17 winning season. This was followed by his sophomore streak of 11-2 season. And in his junior year, he led a 12-1 season, which then made them chosen for the Rose Bowl in 2015. It makes sense he’ll need the noise-cancelling beats to pump him up.

·         We know this guy is fast.
·         Endorsement deal= Nike

Mariota has got some impressive stats: Two hundred and nine passing yards and four touchdowns. A perfect 158.3 passer rating. Only three incompletions. But did you know that Mariota was the fastest quarterback in Week 1, hitting a speed of 21.42 miles per hour? Heck yeah. Linebacker Zach Brown has even said, “He is faster than I thought… He is an athletic quarterback. He didn't win the Heisman for nothing.” Long story short, JUST DO IT.

 Image credit: (Creative Commons License)

·         We know the Titans are excited to have him.
·         Endorsement deal= Titans.

So it’s not really an endorsement deal, but come on: Mariota was racking up all these endorsements before he even signed with the Titans. This gig is the real deal. Coach Ken Whisenhunt is quoted saying, “You may not hear it in my voice, but I’m really, really excited to have this kid.”  There’s a lot of potential, we know the Titans could use some love, and they need some star power to get them out of their funk.  One of Mariota’s former coaches talked about his old player saying “if you can just bring him along and have just a little bit of patience and give him the correct direction, I think this kid can be one of the really great quarterbacks of the future in the NFL.” I think the Titans are thinking the same thing.

·         We know how to pronounce his name.
·         Endorsement deal= Island Insurance Co.

Marcus Mariota is from Hawaii, exotic no? Because of this, he has a unique fan base from the island that is willing to cheer him on financially. But having a last name that a lot of people mispronounce, I personally understand the frustration that comes with the territory and the desire to share with the world how to actually say it. Surprisingly, Mariota is pronounced like “MAR-ee-OH-tah,” according to ESPN’s journalist Paul Kuharsky. Apparently it’s a common mistake attributed to something called the “Marion Rule.” Read more about the common mispronunciation here.

All of these things combined make Mariota a marketing goldmine. He has all the athleticism, the endorsement sponsorship, the fan base, the youth, the credibility. What can he do for the Titans? 


He can be a game changer. Mariota can (and already is) generate social media buzz, good PR, sales, and more. He’s helping change the Titans’ brand image with one new fan at a time. New is fun, and new is new—meaning new experiences for Magazine covers, new headlines, new hopeful promises, and new sales. Tennesseans everywhere are excited to see where this can lead, and they’re willing to buy a ticket to find out. Plus, wouldn’t it be great to buy updated Titans merchandise and display it proudly? Everyone likes a winning team, and everyone love to root for the underdog.

But what don’t we know about Mariota?

What We Don't Know

·         What will the future hold for Mariota?
He’s had a great first game, but a game doesn’t make a season, and a season doesn’t make a career. Is there too much hype about Mariota? Will this young kid be able to keep performing under the NFL pressure or will it be too much? Whisenhunt said “Hopefully we’ll clean up some of our mistakes…We still have a lot of things to work on.” Mariota’s endorsements could cut the cord if Mariota can’t take the pressure. After all, new is new—meaning no national/professional experience before. Mariota could fizzle out; the marketing goldmine fizzling out with him. Read more about what Coach Whisenhunt said .

·         What is he doing for his 22nd birthday?

Hey, his birthday is coming up, what is the guy that has everything going for him going to do for the big 2-2 in Nashvegas? Obviously I’m joking, but the NFL brings a lot of professional and social pressures. Hopefully, young Mariota will keep a good head on his shoulders and avoid bad blood with the Titans or endorsement deals. Bad publicity doesn’t work well in business partnerships.

What do you think Mariota will do?

Sydney Copp is a senior at Middle Tennessee State University. She plans to graduate in May of 2016 with a bachelor's degree in Public Relations and a double minor in Marketing and Global Studies. She enjoys watching professional football and USA Swimming. You can reach her on Twitter at @SydneyCopp.