• Loading stock data...
Saturday, May 18, 2024

Valdes-Scantling Not Waiting On Breakout Year To Build His Brand

Valdes-Scantling brand
Photo Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
Valdes-Scantling brand
Photo Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Athletes using their elevated status for business success isn’t a new concept, but Marquez Valdes-Scantling isn’t waiting for his on-the-field recognition to get his off-the-field efforts in order. 

The second-year Green Bay Packers wideout has been named by several publications as a breakout candidate this season as one of the top targets for Aaron Rodgers, who has commented early in training camp on the young receiver. Following a rookie season when the fifth-round draft pick hauled in 38 catches and two touchdowns, the growing spotlight could be intimidating, but he’s taking it in stride.

“There’s no pressure, I’ve been playing football my whole life,” Valdes-Scantling said. “There’s real-life struggles in the world and I’m playing a game for a living. I was a fifth-round pick, so expectations of me weren’t that high, but for me, they’ve always been high.”

As he focuses on what has made him a successful professional athlete, Valdes-Scantling also recognizes that opportunity doesn’t last and that he needs to be ready to fend for himself in the real world when game time ends. He believes whether he breaks into that next level of stardom as an NFL player or not, he can find a way to make his name as big as he can. 

“Football doesn’t last forever, but a name can,” he said. “I’m going to focus on my name, that’s who I am. And it’s all the things I like to do; you don’t want to build a brand on something you don’t believe in, because you won’t get behind it.”

Athlete careers aren’t long, with an average career-span in the NFL roughly three years. So the younger a player gets started on building their brand and fostering revenue-generating opportunities, the better, said Joey Brander, president and managing partner of First Serve Partners, a venture capital and consulting firm in sports, media, entertainment and technology.

“In the digital age, it has never been easier for athletes to cultivate, strengthen, and leverage their personal brand,” Brander said. “Many athletes can grow and monetize their brand in ways that their actual play may not even warrant, or before they become a household name. We have seen numerous athletes garner large followings and brand partnerships solely through creating quality content and real relationships with fans.”

Brander said in brand building, to be successful, the player has to be very good or very interesting and in Valdes-Scantling’s case, it could turn out both hold true as he finds ways to authentically connect with fans before he hits his prime.

A savvy user of social media, Valdes-Scantling has built up a following of nearly 50,000 followers on Instagram and more than 22,300 on Twitter. As his social following has grown, Valdes-Scantling recognized he could transition his love of fashion into his own clothing line. He launched the Sik Selection, a company he started with three of his friends from Florida.

Currently a line of T-shirts make up the Sik Selection, however, Valdes-Scantling expects that to grow into a line of “fashionable streetwear that exemplifies the creative minds of Saint Petersburg, Florida.” 

“We didn’t really have proper planning or anything, we just created 300 shirts and sold them all out,” he said. “Now we’re actually trying to implement the actual brand and getting football things attached to it and trying to build it.”

While Valdes-Scantling is working on building his own business, he also knows plenty of brands can come knocking should he turn into a star. He’s not ready to commit to anything and having barely been in the league an entire calendar year, he’s still vetting the best ways to be attached to brands.

That’s probably a solid approach, Brander said. 

“We have seen this fan-base growth lead to multitudes of opportunities for athletes of all stages of career off-the-field,” he said. “In our world, a prominent following is incredibly impactful in adding value to early-stage consumer-facing startups who can increase market share or see dramatic revenue growth simply from a well organized social campaign from a savvy athlete who has built a quality brand.”

READ MORE: Travis Kelce Powers Up With Equity in Hilo Nutrition

Valdes-Scantling said he won’t read too much into the preseason hype around his name, but knows with success on the field comes a hike to the personal brand he’s trying to build. 

“The first thing I have to do is produce,” he said. “No one wants to market a guy who isn’t making it on the field. Then, whatever opportunities come my way, if it’s something I stand for, I’ll get behind them and help them out.

“I’m just going to try to capitalize on the buzz off my name and this can be a great opportunity to get it to grow and get fan support,” he said.

Linkedin
Whatsapp
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

February 5, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; The grounds of the Capitol Building empty out following the conclusion of President Donald Trump's State of the Union speech on February 5, 2019.

‘A Breathtaking Lobbying Campaign’: The NCAA’s Sophisticated Effort to Save Amateurism

Inside the carefully coordinated, multimillion-dollar operation to end the athletes’ rights era.

NFL’s Christmas Shake-Up: Netflix and Amazon Will Take It Over in ’25

This is the new-age NFL, where anything goes, if the price is right.

NFL’s Schedule Points to Network Strategies: Chiefs Lead, Texans Rise

The two-time defending champions are a fixture across many of the league’s tentpole events.

NFL-Netflix Deal Could Set Stage for Mother of All Cash Grabs

The NFL’s leverage with streamers and broadcasters is only increasing.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

MLB, NBA, NHL Broadcasting Future Goes to Court

0:00

Featured Today

The WNBA Was Forged in Houston. Why Won’t It Go Back There?

Houston’s a perfect fit for expansion. The league isn’t considering it yet.
May 9, 2024; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Indiana Fever guard Caitlin Clark (22) stands with the team during the national anthem on Thursday, May 9, 2024, during the preseason game against the Atlanta Dream at Gainbridge Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
May 12, 2024

‘Perfect Storm’: The Rise of Local WNBA Broadcast Pacts

With national attention reaching new heights, regional coverage could dictate the future.
Mar 29, 2023; New York, New York, USA; American actors and comedians Chris Rock (left) and Ben Stiller sit court side during the third quarter between the New York Knicks and the Miami Heat at Madison Square Garden.
May 11, 2024

The Haves and Have-Nots: How the Knicks’ Celebrity Row Works

Unwritten rules, an expectation of quid pro quo, and nothing is free.
May 6, 2023; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Red Bull driver Max Verstappen (1) of the Netherlands walks through the garage area following qualifying for the Miami Grand Prix at Miami International Autodrome.
May 5, 2024

Max Verstappen Is Unstoppable. Is That Hurting F1 With New American Fans?

Formula One could be facing an inevitable plateau in the United States.

Careers

Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Live Nation
Multiple - USA Careers
Adidas
Multiple - USA Careers
FanDuel
Multiple - USA Careers

Chaos at the PGA Championship: Here’s What We Know

The No. 1 golfer in the world nearly didn’t make it to Valhalla Golf Club.
May 15, 2024

Caitlin Clark Debuts With WNBA’s Most-Watched Game in Decades

The game averaged 2.12 million viewers, the WNBA’s highest since 2001.
May 17, 2024

World’s Best Golfer Arrested Attempting to Enter PGA Championship

Scottie Scheffler was arrested and released by Louisville police Friday morning.
Sponsored

Major League Rugby’s Vision for American Rugby

How Major League Rugby is leading the Rugby renaissance in the U.S.
Portuguese superstar Cristiano Rolando gives thumbs during World Cup match
May 15, 2024

The 25 Highest-Paid Athletes in the World

Cristiano Ronaldo takes the crown as the highest-paid athlete in the world.
May 15, 2024

Caitlin Clark’s Pro Debut: Inside the Connecticut Casino Pressure Cooker

Clark struggled on the court as the hype exploded off it.
May 13, 2024

Rich Running Fan Pays Boston Marathon Winner After Organizers Still Haven’t

The Boston Athletic Association still owes the winner $100,000.
May 13, 2024

Bronny James Reportedly Staying in Draft After Medical Clearance

James immediately becomes the draft’s most polarizing prospect.