Deflategate has provided a nice backdrop for how a branded athlete can muster additional media equity during the offseason. Now for Tom Brady, the circumstances are not exactly positive. But in the world of professional sports, there’s not much negative press that can’t be spun into more media differentiation.
Deflategate is one of those stories.
Tom Brady’s media rating is now above his in-season best media high (72 points). Of course, it’s unlikely he’ll maintain this level of media prominence if/when he settles his appeal with the courts, arbitrators or whomever else is getting in on the circus known as deflategate.
The story has been a godsend to Brady’s off-season momentum which, like most off-season athlete brands, normally tanks about now. Brady is up +2 points at a 73 rating. More importantly, the Brady brand is up +22 percent over the prior off-season period in 2015. The later is the key success metric for a player such as Tom Brady who has no problem generating in-season media buzz. But off-season is a completely different story for 2 reasons: your actual on-field/court performance is in the off-position and now you’re competing for media bandwidth against other branded athletes who are in-season.