During Super Bowl XLVIII in New York City, I had the pleasure of attending the 5th Annual John Wooten Leadership Awards. The event honored executive leader, Jerry Reese, Senior Vice President and General Manager of the New York Giants. He has paved, broke and set many barriers in the NFL. He is one of the most successful executives in NFL history leading victories in Super Bowl XLII and XLVI, and during his tenure with the New York Giants has won two NFL East Championships. I asked Mr. Reese, “What is the importance of leadership? He responded, “Set the example of what you want to see.” Furthermore, also honored during the event was NFL Leader, D’Brickshaw Ferguson, left tack for the New York Jets. I was truly impressed with his diligence, determination and focus while playing in the NFL.
In addition, his is a philanthropist in giving back to his community through various community relations campaigns, such as United Way Team NFL. He established the D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation, www.dbrickshawfergusonfoundation.org. An organization devoted to offering scholarships to deserving students and granting of assistance to food banks, clothing ministries and provides funding for needed church repairs. I asked Mr. Ferguson, “What is his leadership advocacy? He stated, “To give back means to service others.” The event also honored James Brown, CBS Sports Anchor with the Lifetime Achievement award, and Kevin J. Davis, Attorney, Garvey Schubert Barer with the Community Leader award.
Mr. John Wooten is an influential African American figure in the NFL. He was a football player; thereafter, became Director of Pro Scouting for Dallas Cowboys from 1975-1991. In 1991, he created the Player Program/Player Development programs for the NFL. He has been involved with the NFL for over forty-eight years as a prevalent leader who works to ensure the fairness to minority hiring in coaching, scouting and front office positions. The essence of the John Wooten Leadership award was created to give spotlight recognition to those in the sports industry who go over and beyond in giving deep commitment to their respective communities and understand the true value of giving back.
In 2002, I started my career in sports public relations. I manage the careers of NFL players in providing public relations, marketing and behavioral prevention advisement. This was my 12th consecutive Super Bowl attendance and by far one of the best. The City of New York has truly prepared the city for this large event by having great volunteers through the Super Bowl Host Committee, fully staff of the New York Police Department and additional resources to get easily access about all festivities. The traffic was not has hectic as one would imagine. All the networking events and parties were elite and grand. The NFL partnered with many non-profit organizations and corporate sponsors to promote giving back to neighboring communities through an engaging serious about outreach initiatives and star-studded fundraisers with A-List athletes and celebrities. This year’s Super Bowl has grossed over $550 – $600 million in revenue to New York and New Jersey. Overall, I would say; it was a successful Super Bowl.
In 2002, my career transitioned into sport public relations. For 12 years, I have attended, and been involved in working many Super Bowl events. I started volunteering for the Super Bowl Host Committee as a volunteer ambassador to provide office administration, social media management, and NFL support through the full-fledged weekend of events. I enjoy attending Super Bowl each year. It’s a great way to explore and visit a new city. Throughout the years, I have learned so much about working in sports with my affiliation with the Super Bowl Host Committee. I am fond of the NFL organization, community and players are to the FANS in creating a great NFL experience throughout Super Bowl. Each year, my career has advanced, and I have embarked on becoming a top-tier publicist. The Super Bowl Public Relations preparations start approximately 6-8 months in advance. I am hired to handle varies of tasks from travel accommodations, celebrity escorting, schedule player’s appearances, arrange speaking engagements, and conduct media interviews. In addition, have the opportunity to work with many big names in the NFL from current to retired players. When I started this career, I never imagine this journey would bring me this far. Now, onto Super Bowl XLVIII in New York – 12 years and counting!
This week after the AFC/NFC Championship games, many have asked my thoughts on the Richard Sherman interview immediate after Seahawks defended the 49’ers. The main question asked, do I think Richard Sherman has lost his marketability.
Upon the recent events leading after the outburst of Richard Sherman during the NFC Championship game, his marketability has been salvaged. He has apologized on numerous news outlet such as ESPN and CNN. Due to the nature of the AFC/NFC Championship game and the intensity to win in hopes to go the Super Bowl and win a championship is a major goal and a huge accomplishment for all players. That is why they play the game – for the love of being part of NFL History, and to win a Super Bowl championship. Many players have endured personal and professional adversities and challenges during their quest, and to win the first step to reaching the goal of a Super Bowl championship is a major achievement that does not come easy. The relationship between Richard Sherman and Michael Crabtree stems from months of massive tension and trash talking throughout the season, but also off the playing field. In this situation, Richard feels he has conquered his quest to prove his ability as being the best in the NFL by winning the NFC championship. To his defense, he felt he had to prove something, and he did just that. However, the caught off guard interview with Erin Edwards by far unexpected, to say the least, came from both ends. The NFL is a true man’s sports, the most physical and emotional game of all sports. In sports, trash talking is part of being competitive. So Richard’s outburst is not the first in NFL history, and it won’t be the last.
Richard has heightened his marketability not because he is a great player, because thereafter, the aftermath of the storm, he collected himself, gave justification and articulated his winning spirit. Lastly, again, he has apologized to Erin Andrews, his team/organization, and fans. Trust me, this situation has not hurt Richard Sherman. He is the talk of the week, checks are cut, and endorsements are rolling in. Now, let’s all move on.