When will Terrell Owens get it? Is there a bigger ego-maniac in the NFL? It’s got to be either Favre or Owens, who you got?
Instead of trying to bring a positive light to his career during the Summer of rejection, a.k.a. the Summer of 2010, TO spent the better part complaining to anyone who would listen about how he’s misunderstood.

Don’t get me wrong now, but I understand Owens very well. I support his bid for the Pro Football Hall of Fame; the guy has put up amazing numbers, but at the same time he’s a charter member in the “A$$hole Hall of Fame”.

When TO signed with the Bengals I thought, “Hey, it could work.”

Key word being “COULD.” For 13 weeks the Bengals had a future Hall of Famer in their lineup, and for those 13 weeks he led the team in every major receiving category. But then it happened, his world famous ego re-appeared and it was all over.

Following the Bengals 10th consecutive loss he called out the entire organization on “The T. Ocho Show.” Highlights below.

“I think there is underachieving, you know, from the top down. You start off with the owner, you start off with the coaches and obviously we as players. We are a product of what the coaches are doing, are coaching us throughout the course of the week,” he said.

Wait! There’s more. Owens went on to say,

“Of course we have to go out there and play the game. But in order for us to do what we’re allowed to do at the best of our ability the coaches have to put the players in the best position. I pretty much have been quiet all year but the fact I was brought in here to help get this team to the playoffs and for us to be where we are right now is very frustrating.”

So with that said, I leave you with the social media re-branding campaign I pitched to Owens’ marketing agency in July of 2010.  A campaign that was geared to highlight his Hall of Fame numbers and goofy personality. But I’m starting to think the guy is hopeless because crazy don’t change.

Hope you enjoy!

July 26th, 2010

Terrell Owens 2.0: The Re-Brand

As you know, NFL star Terrell Owens is still a free agent. He’s spent his summer complaining to the media about being treated unfairly. What he doesn’t realize is that if he’d stop complaining they’d stop criticizing him.

If you keep reading, you’ll see I’ve laid out a social media campaign to help TO change his image. This campaign was pitched to TO and he declined for reasons I’ll leave unmentioned ($$$$). Whoops

Here’s the pitch.

By leveraging his name and persona, I’ve created a social media project that will help re-brand his image. Terrell is very active on Twitter. Experts say that Twitter is the greatest customer service tool that exists today. Why not let TO use Twitter and other social networking tools to listen to his customers?

Over the years his personality off the field and on the sidelines has muted his on the field play. Terrell Owens is one of the top 10 greatest WR in NFL history, problem is, most people don’t know it. Greatness is not the first word that comes to mind when the name Terrell Owens is thrown out. I don’t need to make a list of words that do come to mind. Terrell’s need to continue focusing on the negative reasons he isn’t signed is only hurting him.

The social media pitch I have provided is ONLY going to highlight the positive things TO has done over his career. The public cannot be expected to forget something negative without replacing that negative with a positive. The key here for TO should be to move on from the past, turn the page into the future. As cliché as that sounds, it’s the truth. Let’s change the status quo.

1.  Playing off bumper stickers on trucks that read, “How’s my driving……Call yada yada yada…?”

Our version would read, “How’s My Performance?” Imagine surfing over to ESPN.com and the first thing you see is a scrolling banner at the top of the page that reads “How’s My Performance?” followed by a question like “What receiver currently holds the record for most catches in a game?” Answers include- Jerry Rice, Lynn Swann, Steve Largent, Tim Brown and of course the record holder, Mr. Terrell Owens.

The banner ads would feature questions that would lead to TO being the answer. We would be highlighting the positive impact he has had on the game. The banner ads would link directly to, http://www.signterrellowens.com, which would be devoted to this campaign.

2. Challenges on Twitter: TO will issue fitness challenges on Twitter. His followers will @reply him with their specific challenges and he will choose the (local) follower that has the best challenge. TO would then travel to that person, all on camera, to compete in the challenge with the user. This would be AMAZING publicity for him since we can Ustream it live. Think Terrell doing sit-ups in his driveway, but this time he is competing with one of his followers.

3. Last month in LA, TMZ approached TO outside a Hollywood club and decided to ask him if he can still play. TO felt the need to prove that he can by jumping onto a newspaper machine from a standstill.

Playing off that event, users can submit, “What can’t TO do” type challenges….won’t be dangerous, but humorous.

A partnership could be possible with a news organization. Can you imagine TO running down Sunset Blvd doing high jumps over L.A. Times newspaper machines? Now tell me, how could ESPN NOT lead Sportscenter with that story?

4. Take a quick peek at this video of Zach Galifianakis lip-syncing, “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” by Kanye West.

Imagine Terrell lip syncing to his favorite song while he trains.

Disclaimer: This would not be a regular training session for Mr. Owens.

Every 10 seconds or so a quarterback heaves a bottle of Gatorade, Vitamin Water, or sponsored product at Terrell and he is forced to make a ridiculous catch. Between the great catches, Terrell can lift sponsored product as if it were weights, maybe bench press an Andy Reid look-a-like, possibly even shot put a real baby, or a fake baby.  This would showcase TO’s football skills while associating hilarious acts of comedy to his name.

Terrell LOVES attention and doing a project such as this one would set him up to be in the spotlight, all by himself. Terrell would be setting a trend by doing something completely innovative to his field. I don’t only see this project acting as a re-branding campaign for Terrell but more of a summer project that could continue on beyond this year. Every summer he can use social media to build his brand by interacting with those who love him the most, his fans.

At this stage Terrell’s career, it would be very difficult to expect the fans to forgive and forget all the crap he’s pulled over the years, but it may be possible to distract his nay-sayers long enough for him to get back on the field and score some touchdowns. Let’s give them something else to focus on, something positive, something groundbreaking, TERRELL OWENS 2.0.

Have thoughts? Please share!

Credit: TMZ, Reuters, My Brain and ESPN at some point I’m sure. Oh and youtube.com.