Greg Jennings is good. No really, he’s good. You probably love your life, but you wouldn’t be complaining if you had his life.
He caught Brett Favre’s historical 400th touchdown pass. He’s caught touchdowns from Aaron Rodgers in a Super Bowl. He’s also caught time on television shows like "Lopez Tonight" and "Criminal Minds." Oh yeah, he’s also mixing business with pleasure as the new face of Old Spice. Like I said, whether you love or hate your life, I bet you shots of Henny at the club and Waffle House afterwards that you wouldn’t mind Greg Jennings’ life.
If Jennings didn’t win a Super Bowl, he wouldn’t have these endorsements and that’s just the bottom line. Winning cures everything and creates new opportunities in sports. Jennings could have the personality of a light switch and still get paid to sign autographs for the rest of his life, because of his one Super Bowl ring. One great Super Bowl performance can turn a player into a household name and change his life because damn near everyone watches football. Jennings’ Super Bowl success from playing for small market, Green Bay, also shows that players don’t have to play in a big market to get the big endorsement deals. If their team is winning, they will be seen nationally one way or another.
Sure winning is great, but let’s be real — the reason why we are seeing Greg Jennings on TV more times than we are seeing 2Chainz in other rappers’ videos is because Jennings is “safe”. Translation: he’s a great athlete and doesn’t look like a thug. Jennings' clean-cut look and lack of tattoos means he’s marketable.
Remember what Carolina Panthers owner, Jerry Richardson, said last year about Cam Newton and tattoos?
“We want to keep no tattoos, no piercings, and I think you’ve got a very nice haircut,” Richardson said to Newton after he drafted Cam with the #1 overall pick in 2011.
Brands and advertisers love a clean-cut brother more than they think black people love chicken. Look at Kevin Durant. There’s a reason he only has tattoos on his chest and none on his arms. He wants to protect his image like it’s his family. There’s also a reason that the Titans, Chris Johnson, has only been in one nationally televised commercial. If an advertiser or marketer saw Chris Johnson in all his Florida nappy-dreaded and gold-grilled glory, they’d have a panic attack if he simply asked for directions. Jennings is the exact opposite of Johnson--clean-cut, no tattoos and has a million dollar smile.
Image is everything in society. If you’re a professional black athlete, looking “the part” will get you the part in the commercial, print ad, Times Square billboard, movie, etc. Jennings not only looks the part, but he has the ability to laugh at himself. He’s well-spoken with a great smile and most importantly—he produces on the field. If you’re a black athlete and you keep your tattoos, gold grill, and where you come from to yourself, then advertisers and marketers will add to your wealth.
For more from Richard Boadu, check out 6magazine.com.