By David Schwab, Octagon First Call
The New York Giants won Sunday's Super Bowl, but which individual players scored in the marketing playbook? Let's look at five who did themselves proud.
• Eli Manning. Eli is now on a short list of two-time Super Bowl MVPs. He already has partnerships with Toyota (in New York), Reebok, Citizen Watches, DirecTV, Gatorade and Oreos. He'll make immediate money from this victory, as corporate programs often have bonus clauses for Super Bowl wins and MVP awards. Same goes for his memorabilia/autograph programs. He will have plenty of corporate/hospitality appearances over the off season if he is interested in doing them. His success in the game will be more impactful for his place in history than for national advertising programs.
• Victor Cruz. Victor scored the first touchdown of the game for the G-Men. He has made headlines with his on-the-field performance and his signature "salsa" touchdown dance. Because of his Puerto Rican roots, he could become a central person in the NFL's Hispanic efforts—which would open many corporate doors. He'll be considered on the short list of brands needing a non-quarterback playmaker for football programs. I am sure there are brands already brainstorming dancing- and salsa-related ideas (He was already offered and passed up a place on Dancing With the Stars.)
• Justin Tuck. He was the standout from the defensive unit with the first-play safety and last-drive sack on Tom Brady. He is already used by Subway in the marketing efforts (appeared in a USA Today ad for the chain this past Friday). Tuck has an endearing personality and runs R.U.S.H. for Literacy, a charity that encourages children to read, understand, succeed and hope. I would expect the Giants' marketing partners to consider using him more in the upcoming season.
• Mark Herzlich. Interesting one here. Mark was inactive for the Super Bowl and didn't suit up. The cancer-surviving (rare form of bone cancer) rookie Giants linebacker was undrafted out of Boston College and made the team this past year. He already does marketing work for Gatorade and Saucony's "Find Your Strong" campaign. Because he doesn't play regularly, he will not appear in football-specific programs but will considered for motivational/inspiration programs. There is a big speaker circuit world out there for him if he chooses to pursue it.
• Mario Manningham. The incredible catch on the game-winning drive will go down in Giants and Super Bowl history. It won't win him any marketing campaigns, but it will increase his hospitality appearances and autograph signings in the future.
Unlike games where there are obvious marketing losers, I don't see that here. I do feel Rob Gronkowski had a lot to gain which will remain unfulfilled. He had an unbelievable season and will be a marketable TE in the future. But he had the ability to fast-track his appeal through a big game on Sunday (especially with the injury story line).
—David Schwab is the managing director of Octagon First Call, Octagon's celebrity acquisition and engagement division. He analyzes the value of spokespeople for brands; leading the recommendation, contract negotiations and management of the celebrity-portion of the campaigns. Follow him on Twitter: @david_schwab.