I don’t think this is exactly how Geno Smith wanted to move up in the athlete media rankings, and the news is already growing old on how the NY Jet’s quarterback got sucker-punched by his own teammate, breaking Smith’s jaw and sending his teammate into the trading ranks (he’s now with the Washington Redskins). Smith is recovering after missing 8-10 weeks of pre-season practice.

As for Smith’s media coverage, the unfortunate punch lifted the Jets’ quarterback’s earned media rating an amazing +32 points, which translates into a 42% gain for August. Smith is now at a commanding 75 media rating. Of course, this type of single-event coverage is difficult to leverage, but you need look no further than a brand like Lululemon to realize that a single negative media event can provide an opening to expanded media advantage if managed correctly and continuously, post-event.

Here a more complete picture of Geno Smith’s media performance over the preceding 4-year period.

While athlete brands carry with them a cyclical pattern due to in/out-of-season media periods, the Geno Smith brand is now known outside athletic coverage circles. The eyes and ears of mainstream media and broad social media sources are familiar with Smith and it’s up to his agent support network to turn that spotlight into a new rung on the media ladder.

Here’s some perspective. Smith moved up +131 positions in the Male Athletes sector,  +42 positions in the NFL Players sector alone. As unfortunate as the locker room punch was for Smith from a physical perspective (man that must have hurt), it raised the Jets’ quarterback out of media obscurity as far as quarterbacks are concerned. You have to deflate footballs to get the kind of coverage Geno Smith generated in August :-).