A football fortune could be awaiting Patrick Mahomes according to a sports marketing expert.
The 24-year-old Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback may be set to become the NFL’s first $200 million player – and that’s only the tip of the iceberg. He could also earn more than double that in endorsements, it is believed.
The forecast follows Mahomes’ heroics in leading Chiefs out of the jaws of defeat to a last-gasp victory at Super Bowl LIV. Chiefs came from a 20-10 deficit in the last seven minutes to beat a seemingly entrenched San Francisco 49ers 31-20.
Mahomes had a great deal to do with setting up the killer blow – three stunning touchdowns in the final seven minutes. His reputation was already blooming before this. His Super Bowl performance has set it soaring – and earned him the Bowl’s MVP award.
After a trip to Disneyworld and an open-top bus parade to celebrate the team’s success, Mahomes now finds himself playing a waiting game as he looks ahead to the offseason.
Mahomes is son of MLB pitcher
The son of former Major League Baseball pitcher Pat Mahomes, He initially played college football and college baseball at Texas Tech University.
Following his sophomore year, however, he quit baseball to focus on football with some standout results.
In his junior year, he led all NCAA Division I FBS players in multiple categories including passing yards (5,052 yards) and passing touchdowns (53 touchdowns).
He then entered the 2017 NFL Draft where he was the 10th overall and 1st selection by Kansas City.
He spent his rookie season there as a back-up to Alex Smith. When Smith was traded to the Redskins, however, he took on the job of starter quarterback with a vengeance. He threw 5,097 yards for 50 touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
He’s now moving into the last year of his rookie deal and there is no doubt that his employers will pay him well in the future. No one is too sure about the exact figure, but it’s expected to be the biggest deal in the league’s history.
Could cash in on record endorsements
And that in turn would put him in a position to cash in on record endorsements. Darren Duber-Smith, a lecturer in marketing at the Metropolitan State University of Denver believes he can.
He told Stats Perform: “For sure. The thing about endorsement potential is that success is only one of a few important variables. There are others that can make an endorser become wildly financially successful.
“Pat Mahomes is likeable. Success helps, but likeability is an even bigger factor. Longevity is also a big issue; attractiveness is a big issue, as is success. Those are sort of the four biggest variables for endorsement success, in my opinion.
“Tom Brady has had longevity and success, and is good-looking too, but he doesn’t have that likeability.
“Mahomes doesn’t have the longevity aspect yet, of course. We don’t know about that because an injury can derail someone’s career very quickly.
Compares with Peyton Manning
“I would compare him to Peyton Manning, though. He even has more endorsement potential than Manning, who is one of the most likeable and also one of the highest-grossing celebrity endorsers ever.”
While Manning is still earning in retirement, Mahomes is part of a new generation of quarterbacks that include Deshaun Watson and reigning MVP Lamar Jackson.
He is new superstar who will attract sponsors, not just with his play on the field but also with his personality.
His profile is aided by a change in the marketing landscape, according to Duber-Smith. Where once teams were the main attraction, now it is their players who have the pulling power.
“It’s all about what we call ‘star power’ in the sports marketing world,” he explained. “We can thank 15 or 20 years of fantasy football for that.
Star power drives everything
“Star power drives almost everything – people will go out and watch really poor teams, so long as they have one or two great stars. Teams can also make millions of dollars despite not winning for decades, just so long as the star power is there.
“The NFL has rallied this year, and I think that’s down to a couple of things. First, they are paying a lot more attention to which games they are showing on television, so that really helps, but we also have ‘Generation Z’ coming in.
“They are different. With the millennials, we had a malaise for a period of time. Now, though, we have in this batch of new quarterbacks; probably the most exciting bunch we’ve possibly ever seen.
“It’s all about quality. The Premier League is rated number one in the world, and the way you look at that is through player salaries. The thing about Americans is – and you’re going to see this when the XFL fails – they don’t like to watch poor sports.
“They like to watch the very best in the world, which explains why the (UK) Premier League ratings are so much higher than our own MLS. We don’t care where it comes from – if it’s of the highest quality, we will watch it.”
There is little doubt about Mahomes’ quality. Kansas City have drafted and developed a franchise QB who should be worth every penny of what they will end up paying him. As one of the new faces in the NFL, he can expect to be in high demand.