By Mary Cunningham
Eagles Supreme Leader Chip Kelly isn’t the local guy disappointed that he couldn’t draft Marcus Mariota, his QB at Oregon whom he pursued unsuccessfully in last month’s NFL draft.
Mitchell & Ness is also bummed out.
And so are all the other local retailers who sell jerseys for a living.
Mariota has the NFL’s best-selling jersey for the month of May, Titans director of finance Stuart Spears told Paul Kuharsky of ESPN.
A study by a sports marketing company also found that Mariota ranks as the 39th most marketable athlete in the world. That may sound rather shocking for a player who hasn’t played a professional game yet, but Mariota was a popular Heisman Trophy winner at Oregon who enters the NFL with a significant fan base. It also helps that Mariota (unlike the only player drafted ahead of him, Jameis Winston) has a squeaky-clean image off the field.
So for now, Mariota is among the NFL’s top stars. But that popularity won’t last long unless he can prove himself on the field.