San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel ends up in a touchdown catch against the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California on October 3, 2021.
Michael Zagaris | Getty Images
In the middle of his third season, Deebo Samuel is one of the rising stars of the National Football League. The San Francisco 49ers wide receiver leads his team in the distance and is second among the players in his position in the league.
Samuel is now trying to capitalize on his early production to make more money outside of football. He just signed with Excel Sports Management agency to get more support and get involved in investments, the company told CNBC. He will work directly with marketing agent Parker Cain, who joined the agency in August.
Excel has negotiated more than $ 4 billion in active player contracts and represents some of the biggest names in the sport, including golf star Tiger Woods. It also represents NBA players like Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin. For marketing deals, the agency’s client list includes Hall of Fame quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Joe Montana.
Excel will only negotiate Samuel’s marketing deals while the Creative Sports Agency – or CAA – handles his NFL contract talks. Samuel previously worked for Quality Control Sports Management and his most important advertising deal to date is with Nike.
As the NFL’s second quarter begins, current and former players are leveraging the league’s huge audience and their own supporters to make new agreements and find ways to generate alternative income.
Rob Gronkowski # 87 and Tom Brady # 12 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers celebrate after defeating the Kansas City Chiefs at Super Bowl LV at Raymond James Stadium on February 7, 2021 in Tampa, Florida.
Mike Ehrmann | Getty Images
Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner uses his weekly press conference to announce partnerships, including a recent investment in Public.com, a website that allows retail investors to buy stocks and cryptocurrencies. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is one of several players trying to make the most of the non-fungible token (NFT) during the ongoing NFL season.
“I want my brand to be something that everyone sees – not just a great soccer player, but a great character off the field,” Samuel told CNBC. “When they switch from one marketing director to another, they promise the same thing, but the conversation with Parker was different.”
Named after a tyrant
The 49ers drafted Samuel in 2019, paying him $ 1.4 million for the 2021 season. Samuel is second in the NFL at receiving yards at 548 yards and has scored four touchdowns while his team is 2-3. His contract expires after the next season unless he signs an extension.
Samuel was named after a famous character from actor Tommy “Tiny” Lister, who died last December. Lister played a neighborhood bully named Deebo in the Friday film series and also starred in the 1989 film No Holds Barred.
For Excel, Samuel is the first non-quarterback NFL client. Cain attributed Samuel’s versatility in the NFL as the reason he will have crossover appeal. The wideout also runs as a running back and accumulated 207 rushing yards and four touchdowns in his career.
Deebo Samuel of the San Francisco 49ers on the field before meeting the Seattle Seahawks at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California on October 3, 2021.
Thearon W. Henderson | Getty Images
“He’s a fun player,” said Cain. “He touches the ball a lot and in this creative offensive he will have many opportunities to help the team win. Brands want to work with winners and guys who show the growth and versatility on the field.”
Samuel has more than 500,000 followers on Twitter and Instagram, an essential metric for attracting advertising deals. Brands are attracted to athletes with younger followers to show they have a large audience for promotions.
“I think it will attract blue-chip brands,” said Cain. “He’s got a good following, but more importantly, he’s very committed.”
Among the NFL players, Brady is the leader in advertising revenue with $ 31 million in 2021, according to Forbes. Arizona Cardinals star JJ Watt makes $ 7 million, the highest among non-quarterbacks. Watts teammate DeAndre Hopkins made $ 1 million in advertising, most of it for NFL wide receivers.
Cain said it was too early to say how much money Samuel will make, but his location offers a huge advantage. Being in Silicon Valley and near Palo Alto gives you access to the thriving tech start-up scene.
“If you get a share deal with the right technology company in Palo Alto, it could be worth more money than any deal you’ve signed during your NFL career,” said Cain. He added that he is targeting fashion companies to match Samuel, who studied retail management while studying at the University of South Carolina.
Samuel has not yet made any lucrative investments as he is still working on a relatively small contract. His production would suggest he will soon receive a sizeable raise.
The highest value contract for a top NFL receiver is $ 100 million ($ 60 million guaranteed). That’s what the Dallas Cowboys Amari Cooper pay. According to Spotrac, Cleveland’s Odell Beckham, Jr. has the most guaranteed money at $ 65 million.
As soon as Samuel is ready to invest, Excel offers a convincing network. Montana has built a substantial start-up portfolio through its investment firm Liquid 2 Ventures. The four-time Super Bowl champion was an early backer of GitLab, which made its Nasdaq debut Thursday, closing with a market cap of nearly $ 15 billion. Montana’s original check for $ 100,000 is now worth approximately $ 62 million.
People celebrate Gitlab’s initial public offering on Nasdaq, October 14, 2021.
Samuel said real estate would likely be his first investment. He credited Trent Williams, the 49ers lineman, for advising him on the asset class.
“He says what everyone says – money comes and goes,” said Samuel of his conversations with Williams. “But it’s about how you care for it and how you make money with your money.”
The 49ers started the season 2-0 but have since lost three games in a row, including a loss to the Cardinals on Sunday. Samuel finished that competition with three receptions for 58 yards and rushed for a touchdown. The 49ers have a bye this week to play the Indianapolis Colts on October 24th.
“The season is not going as we would like it to be, but 99% of the team think we should be 5-0,” said Samuel. “We lost a few close ones, but we have to [improve] the mental flaws. We have to hold onto the little things that people don’t pay attention to. “
When asked about rookie quarterback and first-round pick Trey Lance, who made his first career start against the Cardinals, Samuel said he was “slowing down processing as a professional”.
Lance replaced quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who sustained a calf injury in week four. Lance completed 15 of 29 passes and threw for 192 yards and an interception against the Cardinals. He also rushed for 82 yards.
“It’s not easy – remembering all the plays and moves,” said Samuel. “I applaud him for the way he approaches the system.”
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