By Katy Fincham
As the NFL Lockout drags on, both sides remain at a standstill and little to no progress has been made. While players, such as Tom Brady and Drew Brees continue to battle it out in the courtrooms, other NFL players are finding ways to take advantage of their “time off” and coming up with creative backup plans.
Notorious for his on and off the field antics, Cincinnati Bengal receiver, Chad Ochocinco spent a week trying out with Major League Soccer team, Sporting Kansas City. The Kansas City Star reported today that the team has named Ochocinco as an honorary member, as he “showed enough potential” to continue working with the team’s reserve squad. Ochocinco said he used the opportunity as a chance to stay in shape during the lockout, but Sporting KC benefited most by the player’s decision to revisit his childhood passion for the game. ESPN has been running a six-minute special highlighting his stay, while his tryout attracted a number of local and national media outlets, never before seen at the team’s Swope Park training facility.
Baltimore Raven Tom Zbikowsi, found that the lockout was the perfect timing to dive back into his boxing career. Now known in the boxing world as “Tommy Z,” he is currently 3-0 with two decisions by way of knockout and gaining a lot of serious attention from boxing professionals. According to The Baltimore Sun, Zibikowski has recently “teamed up with legendary trainer Emanuel Steward and acknowledged he is working toward becoming the cruiserweight champion.” After winning bouts in Las Vegas and Atlantic City, he has even mentioned his desire to bring one of his matches to the City of Baltimore.
Pittsburgh Steeler receiver, Hines Ward, is the newest contestant on Dancing with the Stars and has already proven that he has a legitimate shot at winning the entire competition. The Mirror Ball trophy will never live up to the prestige of the Lombardi Trophy, but Ward’s presence on the show is allowing him a chance to explore a unique opportunity, while remaining relevant with fans.
Going from Gridiron to Glamour, Tim Tebow has recently taken on his new role as an underwear model. The Denver Bronco quarterback will be featured in commercials beginning this week for Jockey’s Staycool products.
At the end of the day, all of the players will presumably stick with their “day jobs,” and our Sunday’s will go back to normal. But the lockout is proving to be the perfect time for players to peruse outside interests, while finding the value in marketing themselves and building beneficial business relationships. Everyone’s professional career eventually comes to an end and having a backup plan is now proving to be more vital than ever.
Katy Fincham is an Associate Account Executive at Maroon PR. Contact her at Katy@MaroonPR.com