“I’m just here so I don’t get fined.”
Just seven little words, but they’ve been replayed countless time around the world since then.
Eric Smallwood, senior vice president of Front Row Marketing Services, said all the exposure of Marshawn Lynch’s quotes has equated to millions in free advertising for his clothing line.
“He was about $3 million in value for the Beast Mode brand from all press conferences surrounding the Super Bowl,” Smallwood said. “With [the] announcement of the trademark rights […] probably close to $3.5 million.”
Lynch’s latest trademark for the phrase “I’m just here so I don’t get fined” was filed Feb. 18. The quote was made famous during Super Bowl media day, after the running back repeated it to answer questions.
It’s far from unique, athletes do it every day. Lynch himself already trademarked another famous saying from last year’s Super Bowl: “I’m just about that action boss.” He now sells merchandise with “About that action boss.”
Lynch trademarked “Beast Mode” in 2008.
All of Lynch’s merchandise is sold out online.
Smallwood credits Lynch and his team for striking while the iron’s hot.
But how long can it last?
Whitney Wagoner, senior instructor of sports business for the University of Oregon’s Warsaw Sports Marking Center, said it is all part of the bigger picture – building up an athlete’s overall brand.
“It’s about really a body of work and the value of the Marshawn Lynch brand,” Wagoner said. “One of those elements is a quote or response to something timely, but there is his whole body of work of what he represents on the field and off, his success playing and what he does in the community.”
The tim eframe for athlete marketing is limited. Smallwood says Lynch recognizes that.
“Whether that is two years, three years, the big question is whether or not he’s coming back next year,” he said. “If his career is over, what kind of length does that have?”