Today’s keynote session at the Adobe Digital Marketing Summit brought Super Bowl champion cornerback Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) to Salt Lake City, Utah to speak to a crowd of about 7,000 digital marketing executives. What can an NFL star teach a huge room of marketing professionals? If you’re scratching your head on that one, you might not be alone, even if you already knew of the star player as a sports fan.
Many non-football fans also know Richard Sherman from his now infamous post-game interview with FOX Sports reporter Erin Andrews at the NFC championship game, which became a social media sensation in the days that followed. Perhaps not the best social media moment for him, as it showed in him in a negative light initially, he was able to overcome the firestorm that erupted. It didn’t hurt that he did back up his words by winning a Super Bowl ring.
As the twenty minute conversation between Sherman and sports reporter Colin Resch (@ColinResch) unfolded, the room of football fans and marketers got to know a lot more about the man who considers himself part of #nerdnation as well. In fact, the first topic talked about was his 900K followers on Twitter, as Sherman jokingly pulled his smartphone to check them.
The conference theme of “reinvention” emerged as the crowd learned more about the player – a kid from Compton, surrounded by bad circumstances who made good grades and worked hard to create a new life for himself.
Now a proud Stanford graduate with a marketing communications degree (also going for his Masters and turning 26 this weekend), Sherman was articulate and honest about his role as a professional athlete, keenly aware of his social media celebrity-dom and how he developed a marketing plan for himself as he went into professional football. He wanted to be a change maker, and noted Deion Sanders as an influence on the type of pro athlete he wanted to be, and create a personal brand around.
On individual branding Sherman said, “You want to provoke a response and a discussion. You want to be unique in your field. Honesty and being genuine is what sells in my field.”
10 Marketing Lessons From Richard Sherman, Social Media & Football Star
Here are some of the best takeaway tweets from this morning’s candid conversation with Richard Sherman at #AdobeSummit.
What can marketers learn from @RSherman_25? Persevere thru adversity. Stay true to your brand. #AdobeSummit pic.twitter.com/EhPc8qmdav
— Jennifer Polk (@JenPolk1) March 26, 2014
@rsherman_25 #adobesummit just united all the marketing nerds– “Present facts you cannot argue!” — Matt Langie (@mattlangie) March 26, 2014
You have to figure out how to be successful with the tools you are given. @RSherman_25 #AdobeSummit — Michele Kiss (@MicheleJKiss) March 26, 2014
“Be genuine, embrace the moments that are part of your plan, and weather the storms.” @RSherman_25 is “good guy”! #AdobeSummit #Seahawksfan — Brianne Terry (@thebrianneterry) March 26, 2014
“Sometimes in football it’s I hate that dude” ~ @RichardSherman “Sometimes in marketing it’s your campaign sucks” Keep it real. #AdobeSummit — John Lovett (@johnlovett) March 26, 2014
.@RSherman_25 says the 4th P is: Planning. Don’t forget how important that is to Process/Product/People. #AdobeSummit — Eric Matisoff (@ericmatisoff) March 26, 2014
.@RSherman_25 had a plan into game. He knew mic was on. Living my marketing rule: the camera is always on & mic is always hot. #AdobeSummit
— Liz Miller (@lizkmiller) March 26, 2014
“You have to have the foresight to see what’s going to happen… You have to deliver something different.” @RSherman_25 #AdobeSummit — Tulika M (@Tulikam) March 26, 2014
If you don’t have a message prepared, then you miss the moment. Good reminder from @RSherman_25 at the #AdobeSummit — Caitlin Davis (@caitlinwenz) March 26, 2014
@RSherman_25 Great way to think “know your brand…then live it. Know every moment has pros & cons” #AdobeSummit
— Lisa Arrighi (@arrighi_lisa) March 26, 2014
Attendee Video of Richard Sherman Speaking @AdobeSummit
Update: The official video of the Richard Sherman keynote conversation from @AdobeSummit is now available here, listed under ‘The Reinvention of Marketers – Wednesday, March 26′ – Keynote segment, Chapter 3.
Postscript: See also our related story, VIDEO: What Would Eric Stonestreet Be Like As A Social Media Strategist for Richard Sherman?