The NFL season has yet to begin, but Russell Wilson, the reigning Super Bowl champion quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks, is already retweeting sponsors like Braun. The 25-year-old represents a new era of sports spokespeople where athletes’ performances on social media channels are almost as important as how they play on the field.
Here’s the bottom line for brand sponsors: Those that align themselves with players who engage with large social audiences are getting the biggest bang for their bucks. Tech vendor Stout Social pulled data from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+ to generate its MVP Index (with 1.0 being a perfect score), crunching reach, conversation and engagement stats to zero in on the top seven NFL players in terms of social impact. Six are quarterbacks, with Seattle’s outspoken cornerback Richard Sherman proving to be an exception to the rule. Everyone loves a winner, indeed.