Dynamic Celebrity Branding of Michael Strahan

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Michael Strahan is originally from Houston, Texas, and spent much of his childhood years in Germany due to his father being an army major. He returned to the United States in his high school years and demonstrated noticeable football talent, which gained him a scholarship to Texas Southern University in Houston.

With his imposing 250-pound, 6'5" frame and aggressive defensive line tactics, Strahan had caught the attention of NFL scouts and was subsequently drafted by the New York Giants in 1993. He quickly became a dominating defensive force for the team and became known one of the league's best all time quarterback sack leaders during his 15 years of play with the New York Giants (Biography, 2016).

Strahan retired from the NFL in 2007 on a high note by leading the Giants in winning their second Super Bowl against the then-undefeated New England Patriots. He enjoyed an extremely successful career in the NFL and currently ranks as the league's 5th highest quarterback sack leader in the league today and is also known widely as one the best defensive ends in the history of the NFL.

Before he even officially resigned from the NFL, he was signed by FOX as a sports commentator on the analyst desk for NFL Sunday by David Hill who was then the CEO of FOX Sports Media Group (Brookins, 2014).

Transitioning into celebrity co-hosting

In 2011 when long time co-host Regis Philbin left "Live with Regis and Kelly," the network featured a variety of different co-hosts to fill the vacated spot until they determined who would ultimately be Regis's replacement.

According to Kelly Ripa, Strahan was the one co-host who fit the role incredibly by complementing the team with his humorous banter and charismatic personality and also making the audience feel totally and home (Cameron, 2016). After a ten-month search and over 50 celebrity considerations, Ripa selected the prior NFL star to join the show full-time and renamed it "Live with Kelly and Michael."

By 2014, the co-host was also working part-time as a special correspondent with "Good Morning America." That same year, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He was also invited to be cast in the movie Magic Mike XXL, due to one of his spontaneous strip tease performances on Live while actor Channing Tatem was the guest.

Strahan stayed with "Live" until April 2016, when he announced his departure to join "Good Morning America" full-time as a morning co-host. The ABC parent company Disney ultimately ordered Strahan not to notify Ripa of the subsequent resignation and they also disregarded giving her a courtesy call before dropping the announcement to the press (Scott, 2016).

The unforeseen announcement significantly angered Ripa, who felt blindsided by the lack of professional courtesy and ultimately did not return for the show the next day. This major disruption and the ill feelings surrounding the miscommunication resulted in an earlier-than-planned exit for Strahan in May 2016.

The making of a unique celebrity brand

In combining two distinctive and separate professional careers, Strahan has morphed his sports and media personality in to a forceful, energetic, and unique brand. By displaying his unique style unending positivity, charm,and humor, he is crafting his own unique expansive media and branding empire" (Cameron, 2016).

In addition to working for "Good Morning America" and FOX NFL Sunday, Strahan is also a partner in a premier branding and talent management company, SMAC entertainment (SMAC, 2016). The company was founded in 2011 and manages globally recognized clients in the sports and entertainment arena.

He is also a spokesperson for Meta, which is a line of wellness products from the makers of Metamucil. The well known celebrity additionally makes frequent appearances and speeches at universities and conferences in between his many coast to coast job obligations.

Strahan's additional pursuits

Strahan recently released his second line of clothing with JCPenney featuring an exclusive brand of active lifestyle apparel for men entitled, "MSX by Michael Strahan." His first line, "Collection by Michael Strahan," was introduced in 2015 and featured tailored clothing, suits, dress shirts and accessories for men.

According to John Tighe, chief merchant for JCPenney, Strahan was very easy to work with and represents a great brand partner (Durham, 2016). He also recently released his first book in 2015 entitled "Wake Up Happy: The Dream Big, Win Big Guide to Transforming Your Life," which was a great success and is available at all retail booksellers.

Strahan has an almost superhuman drive and finds his hectic cross-country schedule invigorating. He keeps a positive mindset and thoroughly enjoys everything he does. His positive and engaging personality emits complete passion and career enjoyment which personifies his brand presence and brand personality immensely. He uses the analogy of the quarterback sack in representing performing at your peak while believing that you can do the impossible (Cameron, 2016).

Strahan's brand is so compelling, attractive, and desirable by many industries that new opportunities continue to appear for him. He is one of the very few professional NFL stars who after retiring was able to create an additional super successful professional career which continues to grow and expand. His magnetic personality and ability to relate to a wide variety of individuals on a comfortable and personal level contributes greatly to his brand success.

The future of the Michael Strahan brand

Since his entertainment career is also managed by his own company, SMAC Entertainment, options in the broadcast and entertainment areas are virtually endless. One area that the agency contracts with is Amazon streaming video service. Perhaps creating a life story highlighting Strahan's NFL career and changeover to sports casting, co-hosting, and brand development would be a strategic move to increase his brand personification.

The company also produced Nickelodeons Kids Choice Sports Awards in 2014. A good brand building strategy may be to do another such event involving the famous NFL star and some of SMAC's other high profile sports clients playing football with the kids. This may widen the Michael Strahan brand persona to the younger generation as well.

Article sources

Biography. (2016, November 23). Michael Strahan biography. Biography. Retrieved from http://www.biography.com/people/michael-strahan-20962977#synopsis

Brookins, L. (2014, November 26). Just how does Michael Strahan hold down so many jobs? The 'Live' host explains. Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved from http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/just-how-does-michael-strahan-751844

Cameron, C. (2016, March 7). Michael Strahan's happy now. Luxury Listings. Retrieved from http://www.llnyc.com/stories/michael-strahans-happy-now

Durham, C. (2016, May 9). JC Penny teams up with Michael Strahan. My Private Brand. Retrieved from http://mypbrand.com/2016/05/09/jcpenney-teams-up-with-michael-strahan/

Geracie, G., & Eppinger, S. D. (Eds.). (2013). The guide to the product management and marketing body of knowledge (ProdBOK®). Carson City, NV: Product Management Educational Institute.

Scott, A. (2016, November 23). The truth behind Michael Strahan's exit from Live! Nikki Swift. Retrieved from http://www.nickiswift.com/13261/truth-behind-michael-strahan-leaving-live-kelly-michael/

SMAC. (2016, November 23). SMAC entertainment. SMAC. Retrieved from http://www.smac-ent.com/about.php

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