The process also provides a window of opportunity for these athletes to build their brands beyond the field. Following the Super Bowl, the top prospects are the focal point of NFL media. Many players spend this period carefully protecting their image against scrutiny.
Others take advantage of the pre-draft process. They leverage the once-in-a-lifetime platform to plant their flag in the ground, setting the foundation of their brand for years to come.
As athlete branding expert Jeremy Darlow says:
“There are those people who are in your corner no matter what, you can’t do any wrong, even when you do wrong. And then there are those people that no matter what you do they are going to dislike you and that’s not going to change.” - Brett Favre #DraftEve #MMO ...see behind the scenes footage Friday in episode 8 on @nextlevelseries #BehindBaker
“We knew how iconic that photo was, and given his relationship with Brett, thought it would be a great way to pay tribute to him and continue to show the uniqueness that is Baker Mayfield,” said Patrick Hayes of Waterhouse Hayes. — Read the full story at Front Office Sports.
Activations like this and the athlete-driven Behind Baker series have positioned Mayfield as one of the brand winners of the pre-draft process, but he’s hardly alone. We measured performance — activity, engagement, audience size, and growth — on Instagram and Twitter to find the strongest athlete brands in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Griffin’s audience has grown by more than 500% on social.