- Patrick Mahomes said “I’m going to Disney World!” after he won the Super Bowl and MVP title on Sunday.
- Experts say the quarterback’s shoutout is worth at least $5 million in publicity for Disney, and could generate over $1 billion in extra sales.
- “A naturally branded moment like this is priceless,” said Mae Karkowski, the CEO of influencer agency Obviously.
- “It reinforces the Disney brand — it’s safe, it’s fun, and it’s where champions go,” said Mark Douglas, the CEO of digital-advertising specialist SteelHouse.
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Patrick Mahomes was crowned MVP after leading the Kansas City Chiefs to victory in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday. Asked what he planned to do next, the 24-year-old quarterback replied, “I’m going to Disney World!”
Experts estimate his shoutout was worth at least $5 million in publicity for Disney, the presenting sponsor of the MVP ceremony this year.
“Paid 30-second ads were $5.6 million this year, and it’s a very safe bet to say that Disney got at least that from Patrick Mahomes’ on-camera moment,” Mae Karkowski, the founder and CEO of influencer agency Obviously, told Business Insider in an email.
“A naturally branded moment like this is priceless,” she continued. “It’s like the difference between an organic endorsement from a huge celebrity versus a paid advertisement.”
Five words, $1 billion in sales
Mahomes endorsed Disney shortly after he spearheaded a comeback watched by 102 million people. His five words could generate more than $1 billion in extra sales for the company, Mark Douglas — the CEO of SteelHouse, a digital advertising specialist — told Business Insider in an email.
For example, the shoutout is likely to spur thousands of people to book Disney hotels and cruises, buy tickets to its theme parks, subscribe to Disney+, see “Mulan” at the cinema, and purchase Disney toys, clothing, and video games.
“There’s also intangible value in having the MVP of the Super Bowl say they’re going to Disneyland,” Douglas added. “It reinforces the Disney brand — it’s safe, it’s fun, and it’s where champions go.”
An authentic spokesperson
Mahomes’ endorsement may have been especially effective as he fantasized as a teenager about taking part in the longstanding tradition.
“I bet it feels amazing to be the quarterback who says ‘I’m going to Disney World’ after winning the Super Bowl #Qbs,” he tweeted in February 2013.
The 7-year-old tweet “solidified the authenticity of his words, showing that this is undoubtedly something he’s always dreamed of experiencing,” Matthew Micheli, managing partner of influencer agency Viral Nation, told Business Insider in an email.
“This clearly resonated with his fans,” he added, as “that particular clip was viewed millions of times.”
Mahomes’ stamp of approval could be worth even more in the future.
His “star is on the rise,” Karkowski said, pointing to the 400,000 new Instagram followers the quarterback attracted in the space of 24 hours, which raised his total following to over 3 million.
Meeting Mickey Mouse
Disney introduced the “What’s Next?” campaign after Super Bowl XXI in 1987. It paid $75,000 to New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms for him to say “I’m going to Disney World!” after he was named MVP that year, The New York Times reported.
The media giant typically invites players who say the magic words to a parade at one of its theme parks. Mahomes accepted the offer, and appeared next to Mickey Mouse on a float at Walt Disney World on Monday.