Record-setting college quarterback Russell Wilson announced today that he has selected Raleigh-based French/West/Vaughan ("FWV") as his marketing, public relations and endorsements agency of record.† Many experts believe Wilson will emerge from this weekís NFL draft as a player who has the talent, intelligence and maturity to quickly compete for a starting quarterback position in the NFL. His arm strength, mobility and leadership skills will be key assets for the NFL team that selects him.
"Russell has impressed us from the moment we first saw him play as a freshman at NC State and we have been fans ever since," said agency Chairman & CEO Rick French. "We are convinced Russell is going to be an outstanding player in the NFL and, more importantly, we know he is a man of great character and a great role model. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to help him achieve his on-field and off-field goals throughout his NFL career." French sees Wilson as the perfect athlete/corporate spokesman. "Nike signed Russell two days before the NFL draft. We think that speaks volumes about Russellís huge appeal. This is the tip of the iceberg Ė anyone who knows Russell wants to work with him."
Heralded for leading the NC State Wolfpack and Wisconsin Badgers football programs to consecutive bowl appearances, Wilson is the newest client to be welcomed into FWVís rapidly expanding sports and entertainment practice. A few of FWVís current sports and celebrity clients include Quarterback Michael Vick of the Philadelphia Eagles; All-Pro running back Arian Foster and starting strong safety, Glover Quin of the Houston Texans; world record-setting swimmer and Olympic hopeful Jessica Hardy; NFL legend-turned-filmmaker Simeon Rice and Disney Channel star Brandon Mychal Smith. In 2011, FWV achieved the rare accomplishment of helping Arian Foster earn more money through endorsements than he was paid from his NFL contract.
Wilson began his collegiate football career in Raleigh at NC State University.† He became the first freshman quarterback in conference history to be selected to First-Team All-ACC and was also named the ACC Rookie of the Year (2008). In 2010, he led the Wolfpack to a 9-4 season and a win over West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl. In 2011, Wilson graduated in just three years from NC State with a bachelorís degree in Communications and transferred to the University of Wisconsin, where he entered the Masters in Education Leadership and Policy Analysis program.
During his only season with the Badgers, Wilson led the team to an 11-3 record and an appearance in the Rose Bowl. Wilson received the MVP award of the Big Ten Championship Game, was named Big Ten Quarterback of the Year and voted First-Team All-Big Ten.† Wilson passed for a school record 33 touchdowns while throwing only 4 interceptions. He also set the NCAA passer rating record for a single season (191.8) and the NCAA record for the most consecutive games with a touchdown pass (38).
"Iím really looking forward to working with the team at French/West/Vaughan," said Wilson. "Throughout this search, I have been looking for an agency that truly understands my interests and aspirations and has the capability to help me manage my off-field endeavors so I can concentrate on being the best football player I can be."
FWV was recommended to Wilson by his business manager/attorney, Mark Rodgers of Frontline Sports Management, who also represented Wilson during his minor league baseball career. FWV will work closely with Frontline and with Wilsonís new football agent, Bus Cook.
French/West/Vaughan is one of the nationís leading public relations, public affairs, advertising and digital media agencies, with offices in Raleigh, New York City, Los Angeles and Tampa. FWVís Sports and Entertainment Properties practice utilizes the agencyís branding capabilities to develop and secure paid endorsement and spokesperson opportunities for its celebrity clients. FWV also represents sports properties such as the United States Polo Association, the Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association and Southwest Athletic Conference, among many others and is the agency of record for a number of national and global clients including Hood River Distillery, RBC Bank, Melitta, Arena Swimwear, Gear4, the International Gemological Institute and Justin Boots. For more information, please visit www.fwv-us.com.†