Weekly Wednesday Standout #17: The Marketing of Colin Kaepernick

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This seems to be a golden age for young NFL quarterbacks. The year’s rookie QB class alone produced three franchise quarterbacks in Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III, and Russell Wilson. These young QB’s did well from a marketing perspective as well. Cam Newton signed with Under Armour, Andrew Luck with Nike, and RGIII is the face of Adidas football. And as this blog previously covered, Russell Wilson differentiated himself by doing a Levi’s commercial. Yet last weekend, 49ers QB and second year player Colin Kaepernick gave what will perhaps be the most defining individual performance of this year’s playoffs with a record breaking 181 yards rushing combined with a 263 yard passing game.

Witness plays like this:

Kaepernick was named starting QB after Alex Smith’s injury. Coach Jim Harbaugh made the defining choice of the his young career, arguably the most important single personnel decision depending on how far the 49ers go in naming Kaepernick a permanent starter with Smith healthy. Kaepernick’s game is from the RGIII, Russell Wilson, Cam Newton playbook – a dynamic quarterback who can either throw or run for a touchdown at any point. The quarterbacks named above already have somewhat of a defined role and image with their respective athletic companies. Where does Kaepernick fit into the larger scheme?

Cam Newton is defined by his championship at Auburn and is the face of Under Armour football. RGIII’s story is bringing relevance back to DC. Russell Wilson is defined by his intangibles. Andrew Luck followed up a hall of fame quarterback with a season for the ages all his own. What is Kaepernick’s story? A second round pick from Nevada, who turned an efficient offense into a dynamic one, and in the process turned his team the scariest team in the league? Time will tell, but Kaepernick is carving a unique story all his own.

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