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Top 2012 NFL Draft Picks Branded by 180 Communications

Date: 3/12/12

Tallahassee Fla.—Monday March 12, 2012 — Stanford Quarterback Andrew Luck, Alabama running back Trent Richardson, and USC offensive tackle Matt Khalil are just some of the elite prospects who have recently graduated from 180 Communication’s “Brand You.”

For the sixth straight year, 180 Communications has teamed up with Athlete’s Performance Institute to prepare the stars of tomorrow by incorporating an intensive personal branding, social media, and media-training program.  In addition to Luck, Richardson, and Khalil, 180 worked with former Stanford offensive lineman Jonathan Martin, former Oklahoma State quarterback Brandon Weeden and former Oregon running back LaMichael James; as well as 50 other NFL draft hopefuls.

“Dealing with the media can be a really big positive but can also hurt you and those around you,” said former Oregon running back LaMichael James, “I think the most important thing is to get some training, get some tips and techniques and how to get through an interview.”

V.P. of Corporate Communications Lee Gordon and Multi-Media Director Tara Herrschaft traveled to Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas over a five day span to prepare these athletes for the ultimate job interview.

“You have control of what others think of you—especially as an NFL athlete,” said Gordon, “We want these guys to think of themselves as a brand, like Nike, Starbucks, and Volvo. If they think of themselves as the CEO of their own brand, they will be able to take ownership of how they are perceived in the public.”

Heisman Trophy winner Robert Griffin, III, recently told USA Today that he is the CEO of Griffin Enterprises; that’s the message to all athletes, look at yourself as a business and promote yourself as such.

“It’s [180 Communications] a more creative way to look at media training and as an athlete, you're always trying to protect yourself,” said former Oklahoma linebacker Travis Lewis said.

Lewis added: “There are so many ways you can use this if it comes to jobs in the future or your NFL career. There are so many different ways to use your brand to make a name for yourself.”

Over the past six years, the 180 team has worked with NFL stars like Sam Bradford, Matthew Stafford, Michael Oher, Aldon Smith, Matt Ryan and many others. What makes their presentation so unique is the focus they put on social media, showing the athletes how easy it is to ruin their brand through Facebook and Twitter.

“I didn’t even know those Facebook pictures were there,” said former Ohio State tackle Mike Adams after working with 180 Communications, “I’m taking those down.”

Former Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead was shocked at how easy it was for outsiders to find his Facebook pictures.

“I have to clean it up, we’re at a different level now,” said Pead.

If you are interested in interviewing Lee Gordon or Tara Herrschaft about Brand You, contact Tara Herrschaft at tara@team180.com or 850-412-0300.

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