Monday, May 16, 2011

My thoughts on Cam's marketability

I read with interest the Sunday story that our Joseph Person wrote about Cam Newton's marketability, which can be seen here if you missed it.

The basic point: Newton, due to his high-profile Auburn success and the fact he is an NFL quarterback, probably has more marketability upside than any Charlotte team sports figure since Larry Johnson. (We're not talking about NASCAR).

But can Cam sell?

Oh, there's no doubt he can. Having been around Newton a little bit now while in New York, watching him get drafted, he can dazzle the cameras when he wants to. He's got a presence about him that plays well on TV. And the fact that he doesn't want to dazzle folks all the time and blows some interview requests off occasionally -- including mine at one point -- is hardly going to be a hindrance to that. I think it's clear that if a company like Under Armour has already signed Newton -- despite the personal baggage and the fact that no one knows if he's going to be a good NFL pro or not -- he's extremely marketable at the moment.

But there's no doubt that marketability gets flushed down the drain pretty quickly if Newton messes up on or off the field to any great extent. In other words, stay out of strip clubs, don't Tweet anything controversial, don't anger your teammates and, above all, play well and win.

That last part is the most important -- he will have to win in Charlotte, and win a lot, to avoid being the flavor of the month and sustain that marketability. As I've written before, I thought the Panthers made the right choice in drafting Newton, given that they were somewhat backed into a corner because of who was available, what their greatest need was and the fact no other NFL team wanted to offer much in a trade.

But Newton caught a break when the lockout was "off" for about 24 hours, just in time to get that playbook. He's got that, he's got a place to work out in Florida and he has, among others, former NFL quarterback Chris Weinke as a tutor (uh-oh).

It's a start. Just the fact you can write a story about Newton's marketability and discuss it seriously -- it shows for certain that the Panthers are far more interesting than they were before he arrived.

29 comments:

JD Harris (Great American) said...

I think most of CAR's real fans would be happier with a Ricky Proehl or Brad Hoover jersey. As much as it chagrins the typical sports marketing people, we here respect players who are loyal to their team as well as their home. That's what it means to "represent", by the way.

Anonymous said...

JD- I think there is room for both types of fans. Newton has never even donned a Panthers jersey yet, so whose to say he can't become what those guys are, other than the fact that he isn't from NC.

Because so many people have already labeled him a failure, I think that even minimal success in year one will build a buzz around here never before seen when it comes to the NFL

NASCAR RULES!!!! said...

Are you kidding me Scott? This guy is and has been trouble his entire life. That is what sells. Look at the MTV generation, where jail time is a sign of respect. This land has changed forever, now the criminals are running things. What we need is some good old time cross burning....

Anonymous said...

Hey Fowler, dont go mocking the Weinke training with the "uh oh" remark. Just because he flamed out on the field doesnt mean he cant teach. Remember, those who can't do, teach.

Also, you failed to mention that Newton is also working with Dorsey (yes, also a flame out)and that Dorsey has worked with Chuds offense in Cleveland and worked with him when Dorsey was at Miami.

The fact that Newton is trying already has me breathing a little easier (not much but a little). at least he doesnt appear to be the Jamarcus Russell type who is going to get fat and lay.

Drew said...

Jesus Christ Scott get over being denied an interview. You - nor any journalist of any kind - are not entitled to someone else's time.

Anonymous said...

Jared said ...

He is a black QB. Thats why all the attention in spite of all his baggage and criminal actions. QB was the last position for the white guy and they have been trying to get it a long time.

The game invented by whites like all the others has now officially been taken over lock stock and barrel. Look for NFL declining popularity among whites. It was sickening to hear all the racist charges too. Punks.

Tom P said...

WOW. Where to begin on this one? First off, to NASCAR RULES, and to a lesser extent Jared, please keep your bigotry off these pages. The rest of us are here to talk football, not listen to your old school hatred for those unlike you.

And yeah Scott, please get over the interview denial thing. The guy was giving interviews nonstop for months, and after working with children all morning he declined to answer the same questions he'd already been asked a million times yet one more time. I get the feeling IF for whatever reason Newton doesn't work out here, Scott Fowler will write an article starting with the line: "It all started when he declined a simple interview request the weekend of the draft...."


And to all the naysayers, lets give him a freakin chance to get on the field before we declare him the worst decision in franchise history. The guy is a winner on the field, and from all accounts he is working his butt off now. I am excited for the upcoming season, assuming there is one. Go Panthers!

Anonymous said...

Hey Scott,

We have to have more than a quarterback to win some games.

cats fan said...

NASCAR????? Your name says it all. NOBODY but the Marlboro smokin, Busch Light drinking, home on wheels driving, low lifes from Ranlo pays that "sport" any attention. This is Football baby!! We take um any color, they all bleed red!!

All that said, Cam is only a part of the needs the Panthers have. We will struggle to be a 5-11 team, and that is at the best.

Anonymous said...

If the Panthers want to increase marketability, it might be a good idea to tweak the uniforms a bit. Have they changed at all since the start of the franchise?

Anonymous said...

So let's see...drafting Cam is only a smart move if he wins a lot of games...otherwise it was a bust. But does anyone believe that if the Panthers had drafted the DB from from LSU or the DE from Clemson that either player would have immediately enabled the Panthers to win another 5 or 6 games this season? What a joke !

Anonymous said...

This is true of all NFL quarterbacks. If you're great (and stay out of trouble) you are marketable. Just ask Manning, Brady and Brees. They get endorsement deals. Big Ben can't stay out of trouble so he's not pitching shoes and cell phones.

As the #1 pick/Heisman winner, he's going to get options this year. But, if he/Panthers suck, they opportunities go away. Nobody buys Troy Smith or Jason White in Under Armour.

MInt Hill Joe said...

I am really getting tired of reading your criticism of
Newton because he blew off your interview request. Too many of you sportswriters try to influence opinion about someone who maybe didn't treat you the way you wanted.

What do you say we give the guy a chance to make things happen in Charlotte?

Anonymous said...

No doubt Cam can sell in today's America. Afterall, Paris Hilton sells. The Kardashians sell. Britney Spears abd Lindsat sell, The trashy Palins sell. Heck, even the Octomom sells. The Jinwrights "sold" millions of dollars worth of baloney to people who could ill afford it., And, the more publicity they get--good or bad--the more they sell. The fact that an admitted cheat and thief will sell more than a person who achieved success by doing most things right says everyting about the media and the public to me. I did not expect Charlotte to be any different, but I hoped that it would. Now, I hope the Panthers lose every game and I hope that Cam and Cecil embarrass them at every turn. The Newtons will make lots off Charlotte, no doubt. Fools and their money are soon parted.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I've heard somewhere that Cam is always looking for the cameras. Appears to be another self centered, me first athlete.If that is what sells then shame on the buyer.

rob said...

If this is all Scott Fowler has to report on, then I take it that Charlotte must be one boring city. What a joke!

Anonymous said...

Will the NFL go the way of the NBA? Only a few NBA teams make a profit as arenas are half full all paid for by taxpayers as owners use losses for tax write offs.

With the 4 billion war chest demand by NFL scab union thugs who demand 700 million more in damages look for this arrogant cocky greedy spoiled rotten bunch to end league success.

Do the brats care if food clothing gas cable goes thru the roof raping the masses?

What goes up must come down. Law of physics... down she goes ... soon...

'Fake' FAN said...

i get so angry when i see people say "Carolina real fans, fake carolina panther fans..etc.." you all need to stop trying to tell people they arent a true fan. dont blame the "fake fans" for being excited over a player of this capacity. Not even julius peppers had this much upside to him. I am a diehard fan have been since the start and once a cam newton jersey becomes available, ill buy it. just like i did with clausen dwill stewart...etc... backoff the REAL fans. also, u guys wouldnt kno football if it bit u in the ass. stop generalizing a 'fan' u dont kno any of the people u are talking about. u dont kno cam. u dont kno anything!

i think i speak for all the "fake" fans when i say all i want is a good team on the field that wins games....screw loyalty. bring me one and dones that win us games and i will be happy. seeing how being loyal hasnt gotten us ANYTHING...

Anonymous said...

Cam Newton is a complete fake. He has been trouble his entire college career. Then, the Panthers draft that thug from WV. The one arrested for various incidences off the field. Rivera is trash and Richardson is a hypocrite. The real lesson here is that if you are talented, the Panthers will make excuses for you.

I am also sick of Newton supporters calling anyone that understands football "haters". Newton never played a snap under center at Auburn. The Panthers are not going to run a "pistol" formation, so he ahs to learn how to play the QB position in the pros. This is not hating..this is a fact. I am going to really enjoy when the Panthers (owners of the toughest schedule in the NFL) end up with the first pick next year and get called crazy for passing on Luck.

Anonymous said...

We know who the real haters are who always bitch and whine like babies until they get their way with everything using the race card.

Maybe the Newton scandal put a curse on the NFL. He should have stayed in school like Luck instead of working the system like a common criminal.

Can he even read and write?

Califorolina said...

Calm down friends, save your hate for the "common criminals" and "illiterate" for the RNC convention. Remember, Charlotte is hosting the DNC next year, it gets confusing, I know.
Cam Newton is the most athletically gifted QB to come out of the draft, perhaps ever, and he has a great arm/great throwing motion. He appears to be pretty sharp, not shy, good leadership skills, and is elusive (i.e. he doesn't go down easy like every other QB we've had in the last decade.)
Potentially he could be an amazing player. As fans, we'll hope for the best, and have some faith in our new coaching staff to get the most out of our existing talent. I'm looking forward to seeing an offense that's from the 21st century.

Anonymous said...

Word is Cam may be gay but try not to slobber all over him on this blog with sweet talk. Geez.
He is an average athlete with below average passing skills with a weak arm. Maybe he can run.

The 2011 NFL season is over anyway. He better go to Canada. They are ready for their season opener in a week or so.

scott said...

I'm selling my PSLs whenever I can break even!!! Whenever this CBA gets worked out, JR will be working on his next adventure - screw current PSL owners out of a new stadium in the next 10-15 years. Will he let current PSL owners move into a new stadium on their current agreement? Will JR get tax money from city/county to pay for a new stadium? Or will he sell brand new PSLs for a new stadium? What will happen to us old PSL owners? I'm selling before it's too late!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

I am sooo sick of these Cam Newton haters. All you want to do is talk about his past, none of you can sit here in say that you have lived a perfect life. The only problem is, we'll never know what trash you did, but it just so happens that Cam is an athlete that we all know what he did. So go ahead and cast the first stone all you glass house haters out there!! Go Cam, I can't wait to get your jersey!!!

Anonymous said...

Well said SCOTT.

Kenneth said...

Wow!!!! Same old types of comments from about half of you. But, I want to commend those of you who are willing to give this kid a chance. Some have been willing from the beginning. And to your credit others have changed your opinions after Newton was drafted. He is one of ours now. I don't think that he will, but if he sucks everybody has the right to bash him. But let's not do what I'm afraid is going to happen and stupidly rip him even when he does well. This is what we did with future Hall of Famer Julius Peppers and as a result he couldn't wait to leave Charlotte.

Anonymous said...

The bad thing is with 2011 to be cancelled the Panthers are stuck with a rogue pick and dumb rookie coach. They could have waited for Luck who is a legit QB. Thats what the haters were scared of.

Solution: Since Newton is not an NFL QB he needs to be made a WR (trade Smith) or TE or either MLB since thats what he played as a kid and his first 2 yrs in HS.

Beason has already tarnished the Panthers again as a cokehead and cold cocking the white guy SSmith style. Make Newton a MLB and take Beasons place who needs to be traded.

2012 is the next time you will see the NFL again thanks to the rogue players union crooks who give a fuck about fans & only want to rape America for more billions.
Self destruction.

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