The Houston Texans' J.J. Watt is more than just the NFL's top defensive player; he's become the go-to-guy for companies looking to pitch their products.
Watt's star is rising so fast, he's become larger than life itself. Houston's love affair with Watt extends far beyond his accomplishments on the football field. He's got just as much star power off the field.
Through endorsements and commercials, the Texans defensive End has endeared himself to Houstonians while creating a personal brand that is growing by leaps and bounds.
Watt, who has a multi-year contract with H-E-B, is featured in three new H-E-B commercials just in time for football season. How influential is he? H-E-B President Scott McClelland points to the release of H-E-B's Houston Texans Tackle Crunch ice cream two years ago.
"It did OK. When we did the commercial with J.J. and his mom, it became our best selling ice cream," McClelland said.
Watt has the potential to score big in the endorsement arena.
"He's the whole package," said Betsy Gelb, Professor of Marketing and Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston Bauer College of Business.
Marketing experts say his small town, Midwestern roots combined with his warmth, personality and a proven track record on the field have led to a perfect storm; a winning combination that resonates with fans.
"There are just not a lot of people who come across on both of these dimensions where you don't have to make the trade off one for the other," Gelb said.
Experts say that will likely give him staying power as a spokesman long after his career on the football field is over.
Watch the three new H-E-B commercials with J.J. Watt below: