Experts: Collins Stands to Rake in Endorsement Bucks after Coming Out Party

Unemployed NBA center Jason Collins, who recently announced he was homosexual to the acclaim of Sports Illustrated, “Good Morning America,” and the President of the United States – and was widely hailed as the successor to Jackie Robinson – stands to rake in the cash as a result of his coming out party. As CBS Atlanta/AP reports: “In coming out, Jason Collins may have inadvertently made the best business move of his otherwise pedestrian NBA career …. He wants to keep playing in the NBA. And if his career continues on another team, the new opportunity – combined with his now-heightened popularity – could potentially lead to lucrative new endorsement deals previously not on the table for a player of Collins’ past prominence.”

According to Bryan Bracey, assistant professor at the University of South Dakota, Collins should pick up big endorsement bucks now that he has announced his sexual orientation. Collins’ NBA career has been unspectacular; a solid defensive player, he is also infamous for his penchant for foul trouble, and averaged 3.6 points and 3.8 rebounds over the course of his career. Bracey said, ““Aside from those select professional contributions that only hardcore fans would recall, Collins is a pretty generic NBA journeyman. So, in regards to his personal marketability, he made himself significantly more distinctive and famous by coming out of the closet. Those characteristics are going to be important to any sponsor.”

The CEO of Sports Marketing Experts, J. Ronald Oswalt, echoed Bracey: “If anything, he may have more of a chance at picking up endorsements now …. Coming out during his career will open up some doors to new opportunities for Collins through endorsements and speaking engagements.”

As Oswalt points out, Americans widely accept and embrace people who are openly gay: “Whereas in the past, the common knowledge was that athletes would lose endorsement deals for coming out, it’s a new world and business is different. Businesses are more concerned about targeting their product towards a new, perhaps before untapped market than they are about worrying about how having a gay athlete endorsing their product could harm their image.”



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