Someone once described me on national television thusly: “She loves Bruce Springsteen and Brett Favre.” Yup, big fan. That was my brand.
From my PR bench, and for a long time, I watched with professional admiration as each of my heroes managed his own regular-guy brand. Year in and year out, thin rumors were quashed fast and big missteps were dispatched with believable forthrightness so as not to linger in the spotlight.
Image consistency was maintained and refined with disarming interviews, open-hearted philanthropy and, of course, feats of derring-do fueled by breathtaking talent. In fact, each dazzling display somehow managed to make it seem simultaneously more amazing and more likely that the offstage Bruce and the off-the-field Brett were still just humble, regular guys.
So the questions I have now don’t really concern what Brett did or didn’t do with a cell phone, a head coach, or a salary cap. I’m more interested in the public relations fallout that began when he acted against his aw-shucks brand, whenever that was. Because that’s the thing. If you hate Brett, I’ll bet you can trace your feelings to the moment you decided he was acting against your perception of his brand. And who knows? Maybe that was also the moment Brett or his brand manager(s) decided he could be a rock star instead of a franchise employee called by immortal destiny. Go Pack!