New England Patriots’ star QB Tom Brady’s reputational value tanked in the last few weeks.
His continued defiance about Deflategate is costing him big points on a scale of celebrity marketability. Surely he’s not plunging from millionaire to pauper, but it’s a clear hit on his market value. So far, his sponsors are sticking with him, but will that continue if he doesn’t come clean?
The New York Times today noted that:
According to Peter Laatz, executive vice president of Repucom, a sports and entertainment research firm that administers the Celebrity DBI, an index that quantifies perceptions of thousands of celebrities in various fields, Mr. Brady’s trust score has sunk from a ranking of 863rd (out of 3,579) after the Super Bowl in February to 3,097th (out of 3,755). A big drop came after the Wells report, the independent investigation of the allegedly deflated footballs used when the Patriots won the American Football Conference championship game, was released in May. His appeal ranking is down to 3,635th, from 2,748th.
That puts him on the same level as Macaulay Culkin and Britney Spears.
Ouch. He went from being in the top 25 percent to near the bottom of the rankings.
Clearly, and this is the bottom line of his crisis, this is not because he may have deflated some footballs. It’s because he continues to deny the obvious everyone else can see, refuses to repent and take responsibility and destroyed his phone and with it potential evidence.
That screams coverup. And as we’ve seen many, many times before, dating to the original “gate,” Watergate, the coverup is worse than the crime.
And as the Times reports:
Mr. Brady is married to the model Gisele Bündchen. The two attend the Met gala together, they built an eco-mansion in Los Angeles featured in Architectural Digest together, and then sold it for a reported $40 million to Dr. Dre together. They are often photographed romping in the surf in Costa Rica with their children. They are even signed to Under Armour together.
This both heightens and broadens their appeal, and raises the stakes. Indeed, the closest comparison to their potential pulling power may be the David Beckham/Victoria Beckham combination.
The content of this blog is about crisis management and mismanagement in a digital age. It originates with Steve Bell, who spent 30 years as a journalist for the Associated Press and in four top editor positions at The Buffalo News. He is now Partner/Director of Public Affairs and Crisis and Reputation Management at Eric Mower + Associates, one of the nation’s largest independent advertising, integrated marketing and public relations agencies, with eight offices in the East. Learn more about EMA at mowerpr.com/crisisready. Steve’s blog is based on his own opinions and does not represent the views or positions of Eric Mower + Associates.