Posted by Abe Sauer on September 28, 2009 03:03 PM
Brett Favre’s brand was once so synonymous with good-guy heroism that he was cast as the ultimate boyfriend in the 1998 film "There's Something About Mary." However, after several aborted attempts at retirement, the Favre name is now associated with an inability to make decisions. To many, Favre is the star who stuck around too long.
In July, when Favre joined the Minnesota Vikings—bitter rival to his one-time team, the Green Bay Packers—he tarnished his brand in the eyes of Green Bay fans who once considered him a god and now call him traitor. Some fans of Favre’s current team are also angry at the drama Favre created with his indecisive wavering.
Favre has embraced his image: a good guy with a tough decision to make. He still stars in painfully sincere Wrangler jeans commercials that play off his brand of simple, good-old-boy Americana. But he's also popped up in a brilliant campaign that highlights retailer Sears' in-store price check, a feature to help men who have a hard time making decisions. Favre’s self-deprecating sense of humor may be just what his brand needs.
Personal brands are a tough business, because they are built around human beings, and no human being is perfect—not even Brett Favre. Being able to accept and find the humor in his shortcomings should strengthen brand Favre by making the man more humble and more emotionally accessible to NFL fans. But are fans ready to overlook Favre’s flip-flopping and lack of loyalty to his former teams?
Next week Favre plays the Green Bay Packers on Monday Night Football, the venue that cemented the Favre legend in an extraordinary 2003 game that he dominated the day after his father's death. NFL fans of every ilk will be watching. Brett Favre the man will be playing in the game. Brett Favre the brand will be playing in the commercials.
Regardless of the game’s outcome, the fans will determine whether brand Farve is a winner or a loser.