When it comes to making a statement on draft day, NFL hopefuls usually turn to suits, flashy shoes, or maybe an impassioned speech.
For Baker Mayfield, that splash started last night when the reigning Heisman Trophy winner and his family recreated the picture of Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre receiving a call on draft day in 1991.
While a few things might be different, trying to spot them at first glance is harder than trying to solve the spot the differences puzzles that appeared next to the comics as a kid.
From the sign above his door, down to the shirts everyone was wearing, Mayfield and his family set the internet abuzz in the middle of a night that was dominated by four NBA games, an NHL game seven, and numerous other MLB games.
“We knew how iconic that photo was, and given his relationship with Brett, thought it would be a great way to pay tribute to him and continue to show the uniqueness that is Baker Mayfield,” said Hayes. “When we presented the opportunity to his family, they jumped at in less than 3 seconds. We couldn’t even finish our sentence before Mayfield’s mom told us, ‘We all looked at each other and knew it was a no-brainer.’”
For Waterhouse, capitalizing on the social conversation around the Draft was key, but doing it in a way that closely aligned with Mayfield’s brand was far more important.
“Since day one we’ve always wanted to do things differently. He just gets it. You can’t really teach that.”
Like good marketers, Waterhouse and Hayes approached brands with the idea before going through with it, but none of them bit.
“We initially presented this to brands and no one made a move, so we did it ourselves.”
That move paid off.
“There are those people who are in your corner no matter what, you can’t do any wrong, even when you do wrong. And then there are those people that no matter what you do they’re going to dislike you and that’s not going to change.” – Brett Favre #DraftEve #MMO pic.twitter.com/6bCE9SxqI6
— Baker Mayfield (@bakermayfield) April 26, 2018
Since it was posted on Twitter, the photo has seen over 29K Retweets and 94K Likes, while on Instagram, the photo has generated 92k Likes, 1.8k Comments, and has reached over 300,000+ people.
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Although it might not be a Kim Kardashian champagne picture or an Ellen selfie on Oscar night, the goal from the beginning for the duo was to stop the internet.
“We wanted to make a splash and ‘stop the internet’ as best we could,” said Waterhouse. “The numbers seem to point to just that.”
As far as the future of Mayfield and his off the field endeavors, Waterhouse and Hayes know that while it may be tough to shake the perception that people have based on what they have seen or heard, once they get in front of him it’s game over.
“We’ve done our best to put him in rooms where he is able to shake hands with executives of these brands and they are instantly impressed. He truly loves to be around people. With such an inviting disposition, he leaves everyone wanting more.”
At a time where nostalgia has brought back fashion once left to be forgotten and sporting memories of old, Mayfield and his team were able to strike in a way that was appealing to most fans and that gave him ownership of the pre-draft social coverage leading into one of the biggest days of his life.