The ABC's | Brady v. Mahomes- Brand Edition | VOL 8.
Let’s cut to the chase, yes the Super Bowl is a BIG DEAL, and to help remind you it’s a big deal:
Super Bowl LV between the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers is shaping up to be one of the more captivating events in recent history given the competitive match-up and the timing of the big game amidst the world’s current events.
Off the field, we’ve already seen drastic shifts to the normal game experience such as a limit of 22,000 fans, reduction or elimination of hospitality and on-site activations from major brands, and many marketers deciding to not run commercial spots.
One of the most intriguing plotlines is the proverbial passing of the guard, taking place between the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) Tom Brady and his heir apparent Patrick Mahomes. It’s new school v. old school, Mentor v. Mentee, and a changing of the guard all unfolding in front of our eyes.
What’s remarkable about Brady and Mahomes, is that for all of their on-field success, both have been able to leverage their superstardom to significantly enhance their off-field pursuits as well. According to Forbes, Brady has amassed over $350 million in earnings as a player and through his business ventures since joining the NFL. Mahomes broke headlines earlier this year, signing a 10-year, half a billion dollar contract extension, the largest in sports history.
Both MVPs have established name brands for themselves off the field with multiple endorsements. In addition, the two separate from the pack by leveraging their on-field success into significant business ventures.
Tom Brady’s lifestyle/health brand, TB12, is built around Brady’s approach to healthy living and athletic performance. Founded by Brady and long-time personal trainer Alex Guerrero in 2013, TB12 has multiple performance centers throughout the United States where athletes can train using the TB12 method. In addition to performance centers, the brand has a line of apparel, performance equipment and health supplements. The entire TB12 program rolls up into a book published by Brady in 2017 called The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance.
TB12 has also signed a partnership with IMG to help promote and grow the TB12 line of products and cut a deal with grocery giant Publix to sell its nutritional supplements. While some athletes are passive participants or angel investors in companies, Brady is not. He is the brand. The TB12 name utilizes the strength of Brady’s name and number, and Brady is actively involved in the promotion and marketing of the brand.
Mahomes was quick to put his $500 million contract to work, becoming an investor and brand ambassador for performance technology company Hyperice. He is featured in multiple marketing campaigns and is integrated into engaging Hyperice activations.
Hyperice has made a splash in the sports world over the past 12 months, becoming The Official Recovery Technology Partner of the NFL, UFC, and MLB. Mahomes was able to see the fruits of his investment returned directly back to him as Hyperice also became a partner of the Kansas City Chiefs two weeks ago.
When it comes to on-field performance apparel, Brady and Mahomes are represented by two of the biggest brands in the business. Brady and Under Armour have been together since 2010 (which also included equity stake for Brady) and he has been one of the steadfast athletes sporting UA as the brand often tries to punch its weight against Nike and adidas.
On the field, Brady’s iconic bulky cleats are a staple of his look and give the brand visibility on some of the most coveted (although slow moving) feet in the game.
Off the field Brady has been featured in notable Under Armour initiatives, including this long form semi-funny, borderline cringeworthy commercial spot.
In 2017, Brady was the headliner of a football clinic tour through China put on by Under Armour with hopes to grow the game of football and the UA brand into international markets. Brady and UA have also partnered on branded clothing lines including Brady branded recovery sleepwear and The Greatest (Tee) Ever, a t-shirt designed to give the wearer the ultimate range of motion while being active.
It will be interesting to see how the Under Armour and Brady relationship plays out, as Brady’s TB12 brand continues to gobble up market share, and could potentially be a competitor of UA as it continues to diversify.
Adidas has featured Mahomes in multiple marketing and social media campaigns, including the one below that provides accounts of growing up with the start QB in his hometown.
Although adidas and Mahomes have yet to integrate into product lines or activations as deeply as Brady has with Under Armour, one would assume that these elements will evolve as the relationship grows.
While Brady and Mahomes have some similarities with their ventures and partnerships, they do veer in their own directions as well. Luxury Auto maker Aston Martin tapped into the opulent persona of Brady by bringing him on as an influencer in 2017. Fashioning Brady as a face of the company was a strategic move for Aston Martin to widen its reach and diversify its portfolio of cars. The pinnacle of this partnership was the Vanquish S Volante model Tom Brady edition cars the company sold at a cool price of $359,950 of which only 12 were made.
Mahomes has found success leveraging his personality for TV commercials with recent national TV spots for State Farm and Head & Shoulders. While Brady personifies exclusivity and class, Mahomes shows his light-hearted personality and relatability through these spots. Both State Farm and Head & Shoulders allow Mahomes to be himself, and it clearly shines through when he is on camera.
Brady and Mahomes have been able to capitalize on being the best players of their generations. Beyond the brands mentioned, the two stack an even deeper roster of partnerships. Mahomes has inked deals with Bose, Oakley, and BioSteel to name a few. Brady has represented luxury watch maker Tag Heuer, and (personal favorite) Uggs Australia.
The two share many similarities on and off the field. Investing in their personal brands will provide them with long term earning potential well after their playing careers come to and end. No matter who comes out on top at Super Bowl LV, Brady and Mahomes will still be just fine in the game of life.
And my prediction if anyone is still reading… Bucs 31 Chiefs 28!