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How Star Wide Receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster Became His Own Brand

star wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster

The Steelers drafted their latest star wide receiver, JuJu Smith-Schuster, in 2017. He has since become more than just another player in the NFL, creating a brand for himself in just three years.

The Steelers’ Star Wide Receiver: JuJu Smith-Schuster

The 6-foot-1 wide receiver has become a prized possession in Pittsburgh and around the country. NFL fans everywhere enjoy his personality both on the field and off.

Smith-Schuster was just 20-years-old when he was drafted by the Steelers three years ago.

In Sept. 2019, the Pittsburgh Steeler surpassed Randy Moss to become the youngest player to acquire 2,500 receiving yards.

Again, in Nov. 2019, Smith-Schuster set another record. He became the youngest player in history to catch 200 passes in the NFL.

Despite all this, the 2019 season was Smith-Schuster’s worst yet in the NFL, statistically speaking. Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin doesn’t seem too worried about how the wide receiver will perform in 2020, though.

“I liked the way he grew as a leader,” Tomlin said referring to last season during an interview. “In terms of production, a lot of those are defined by variables outside your control.”

Creating a Name for Himself

One of the many ways Smith-Schuster began creating a name for himself was through social media.

The NFL star took to Instagram, Twitter and now TikTok to grow his presence and make his one-man brand.

“It all starts off on the field. In any sport, that’s how you catch people’s attention,” Smith-Schuster told Bleacher Report during an interview. “From there, you kinda show your fans, your following, what kind of person you are and your personality.”

Even his dog, Boujee, has an Instagram account with 222K followers.

“I didn’t think it would blow up how it did now,” Smith-Schuster said. “It’s to the point now where Boujee has his own agency. He does deals just like a football player. He gets 80 percent and the agent gets 20 percent on marketing.”

Smith-Schuster also has some experience streaming on Twitch with celebrities like Travis Scott, Ninja and Drake.

 

Becoming the NFL’s Most Likable WR

Smith-Schuster has quickly become one of the most likable players in the NFL. He believes players like Odell Beckham Jr. did similar things when they entered the league.

“[Beckham Jr.] came into the league as a rookie, balled out,” Smith-Schuster said. “Everything he does off the field—his dancing, his celebrations, traveling, playing soccer and being involved in something worldwide like being with Cristiano Ronaldo—that’s what people want to see with the personal stuff that goes on. At the end of the day, we all know you play ball. But what else can you do?”

Smith-Schuster’s ability to relate to fans all over the country has made him even more popular.

In 2019, the wide receiver attended a Pittsburgh high school’s prom with a student who had been dumped by his girlfriend. He made a YouTube video to capture the moments of prom night, and it later went viral.

Although Smith-Schuster is arguably one of the most popular athletes in the NFL both on and off the field, he doesn’t want to stop trying to further his brand.

“I feel like I’ve reached a point where I’m all over the place, from coast to coast,” Smith-Schuster said. “Now my next goal is to go overseas and to be known in these other countries. I want to go global.

Featured Image Courtesy of DK Pittsburgh Sports.

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