By Adam Beasley
Jarvis Landry wants to be the biggest star in the NFL.
But first, he needs to become the most popular player in his own state.
That reality sunk in during a recent media call promoting Landry’s sleek new designer backpack, which comes out later this month.
Who had the NFL’s best-selling jersey in Florida, Landry was asked toward the end of the interview.
“Hopefully me,” Landry responded.
Actually, it’s Tom Brady.
“Oh no,” Landry said, his voice dropping. “You know what? That’s only for another year or two. We’re emerging as an organization; we’re going to put that to rest.”
Landry, more than any of the Dolphins, has the best chance to catch Brady in the near future.
Fresh off his second Pro Bowl appearance in as many seasons, Landry has eclipsed Cameron Wake, Ndamukong Suh and Ryan Tannehill as the Dolphins’ biggest name.
And he’s a marketer’s dream. Landry has panache. He has moxie.
What other Dolphins player could pull off a photo shoot in which he’s bare-chested and standing atop a Lamborghini with scantily clad models at his feet…
Still, the vast majority of his fans are locally based. Next up: expanding his reach throughout the country.
Tadd Schwartz, a Miami-based publicist and brand developer, thinks a broader appeal will only come with more production. Yes, Landry has had a ton of catches. But he only has 13 touchdowns in three years — 22 fewer than his friend Beckham.
“Elevating his brand to prime-time status will mean putting the ball in the end zone more frequently,” Schwartz said. “Look at the top receivers in the game today — Odell Beckham, Julio Jones, Antonio Brown — and they’re all household names, scoring twice as many touchdowns as Jarvis year after year. Catches move the ball down the field, but big scoring plays and winning are the best ways to build a personal brand in today’s highlight-obsessed NFL.”
Landry surely knows this. He’s in a contract year, and touchdowns could also be the difference between good money and elite money.
“I wish there was a true blueprint, then everybody would follow it,” Landry said of truly going national. “I’ve been blessed with the platform that I have. I’m staying true to myself. And let my work speak for itself.”