Ocho Cinco: The Brand Behind The Number

Chad Ochocinco’s career as a wide receiver for the Cincinnati Bengals has been filled with all the stuff that makes sports headlines juicy.  Football players don’t typically race against thoroughbred racehorses.  They don’t usually perform Riverdance on the field.  They most certainly don’t play Santa to a crowd of screaming fans.  Indeed, there are few who have made it to five Pro Bowls straight.  Chad’s “spirited” personality isn’t some calculated marketing tool.  And that’s perhaps why Chad Ochocinco fascinates and perplexes those around him.

Born Chad Maxim Johnson, the football player’s infamous name change was done to pay homage to the number on his Bengals uniform. (You didn’t think his birth name was really Ochocinco did you?)  But the name has become as much a part of Chad’s persona as his fleet of wacky antics and massive yard coverage. Plenty of football players have become famous for their skills on the football field.  Ochocinco’s superstitious beliefs (and incredible chutzpah) led him to a highly publicized “list”– one that was referenced frequently following his exemplary performance in a 2005 game against the Baltimore Ravens.

Lucrative endorsements are practically married to the game of football.  Nonetheless, whenever you see the word “Ochocinco” you’re bound to sit up and pay attention to whatever product is being offered to you.   In Reebok’s case, there’s nothing Chad wasn’t willing to do (including working out naked in the woods.)  Deodorant is a popular endorsement; but with Ochocinco tweeting about the product, Degree did a lot more than keep millions of armpits dry.

To be frank, Chad takes himself a lot more seriously than people give him credit for.  Growing up poor, and raised by his grandmother provides him the kind of insight that plenty of his fans can identify with.  It is perhaps his brazen honesty, vibrant personality and street credibility that allows him to effortlessly connect to so many products. Who wouldn’t want to see Chad Ochocinco “dance with the stars”?

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