The NY Jets announced Porsche as the team's official sports car and luxury vehicle last month. While this agreement marks Porsche's first NFL partnership, the list of cars sponsoring sport teams is exhaustive. An automobile sponsoring a sports team isn't really new news. However, a player publicly wagering a luxury vehicle is.
With an Instagram video posted Wednesday, Jets receiver Brandon Marshall asked Pittsburgh Steelers' Antonio Brown, arguably Marshall's rival, to make a bet on which player will finish the season with more receiving yards in 2016. The prize? The other's tricked-out car.
Marshall instituted his challenge while standing in front of a Jets-themed Porsche, detailed with green stripes on white paint, suggestive of the team's helmet. Brown owns a Steelers-themed Rolls Royce, which he notoriously displays in his own social feeds. The proposal also included a "race for pinks," which means the two race the cars and the winner keeps the loser's.
"A.B., man. I see you boys driving those Rolls Royces. Let me show you how we do it New York, man. We ride these Porsches, bro. Talk about going fast. Ay, let's race for pinks, bro, any day. Or, y'know what I'm saying, if you have more receiving yards than me, I'll give you the Porsche. If I have more receiving yards than you, then ... you gotta give me the Rolls Royce."
While individual ownership of the vehicles and realism of the bet are debatable, one thing is for sure- this is an example of social communication at its finest. Why?
It was organic. It was authentic. It was unique. And it connected with the hearts and minds of fans. It was exactly what perfectly crafted social media should do.
While I can't comment on the visibility of the initial sponsorship announcement, I can tell you this. Marshall's video has gotten over 167K views on Instagram, visibility on all major media outlets, debated on ESPN's First Take and countless spoofs created on YouTube. Not to mention, a reaction from the Pittsburgh Steelers and mass anticipation for a game almost three months away.
Not bad for a single post on day one of training camp.