Northwestern is pitching Anthony Walker, AKA The Franchise, as a superhero
Individual marketing campaigns in college sports are rare.
Sure, a select few players in the country get their own Heisman Trophy campaign from the school’s marketing department, but the other 99 percent is grouped with the team.
Northwestern is not about that life.
The Wildcats showed that with their marketing pitch of second-team All-American linebacker Anthony Walker. ESPN sports business insider (and Northwestern grad) Darren Rovell tweeted out pictures of Walker’s superhero collection:
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 19, 2016
Walker, of course, is coming off a breakout year with the Cats in which he finished fourth in the country in tackles for loss. He earned All-B1G honors as a redshirt sophomore and helped Northwestern to a surprise 10-win season.
Pat Fitzgerald hasn’t been shy about praising Walker, either. Earlier this offseason, he said that he could become the best linebacker in school history. Still, it’d be surprising to hear the politically correct Fitzgerald call Walker “The Franchise.”
Northwestern is consistently at the bottom or near the bottom in attendance among Power Five teams. Part of the reason is the lack of household names. This, it appears, is Northwestern’s marketing department trying to make sure that Walker becomes just that across the country.
Anyone who watched B1G football in 2015 should be well aware of Walker. Now, we’ll have a new nickname to call him when he blows up a play in the backfield.