Why JJ Watt Would Make an Awesome Content Marketer
That’s been the chant ringing throughout the stands at NRG Stadium every time a certain Houston Texans defensive end makes a big play.
And in the last few weeks of the 2014 season, we heard it a lot.
Picked 11th overall by the Houston Texans in the 2011 NFL Draft, JJ Watt quickly emerged as one of those once-in-a-blue-moon players: a unique combination of boundless talent, an ironclad work ethic, and tremendous heart. That package took him all the way to back-to-back nods for Defensive Player of the Year in 2012 and 2013, and this year, his name is already being bandied about for Most Valuable Player (MVP) — the NFL’s top annual award to an individual player, traditionally reserved for elite quarterbacks.
As content marketers, we need to reap inspiration wherever we can find it, and if we take a closer look at JJ Watt, we can find a treasure trove of takeaways to make us better at what we do.
1. He never stops working
Back in September, Watt signed a record-making contract extension with the Texans — 6 years, $100 million. How did he celebrate? No, he didn’t hire a limo to take him and an “entourage” on a joyride tour of Houston strip clubs.
He did what JJ Watt does: He went to the gym.
Yes, Watt gets teased a lot by his teammates about his lack of anything resembling a personal life. Here’s what he has to say on that subject:
— Ben Leber (@nacholeber) July 8, 2014
Takeaway for Content Marketers: When you get down to it, we content marketers have one job: to give our audience everything we’ve got, every day. (Tweet this)
2. He has fun … all the time
Sure, he’s one of the most intense players to ever hit the gridiron, but there’s a tremendous joy in everything JJ Watt does — whether that’s sacking quarterbacks, taking the stage with former First Lady Barbara Bush to read “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” or showing off his Yuletide presents on Twitter:
Takeaway for Content Marketers: Take joy in what you do. Your delight will shine through in your content, and your audience will feel it. (Tweet this)
3. He stretches himself
Watt began his football career on the offensive side of the ball, lining up as a tight end on his high school and early college teams. Rumor has it he relentlessly badgered former Texans coach Gary Kubiak to give him a chance in the position, but Kubiak wouldn’t hear of it.
Watt re-stated his case when new coach Bill O’Brien rode into town in 2014, and this time he got his chance. The result? Three offensive touchdowns, without missing a beat on his defensive day job.
Takeaway for Content Marketers: Don’t get comfortable. By all means, focus on what you do best, but always look for opportunities to stretch yourself. (Tweet this)
4. He’s the ultimate team player
When you see JJ Watt jumping around on the field, pumping his fist and slapping high-fives, one of two things has just happened: either he made a big play, or one of his teammates did.
When big things happen for the Houston Texans, JJ Watt is always first in line to celebrate, congratulate, and encourage. As ridiculously talented as he is, he’s always intensely aware of being one among many.
He also knows that playing as a team not only wins more football games — it’s also a helluva lot more fun.
Takeaway for Content Marketers: Embrace and celebrate the diverse collection of talents, skills, and perspectives on your team. It’s more fun that way. (Tweet this)
5. He gives back
Hailing from Waukesha, Wisconsin, Watt would ordinarily have precious little in common with anyone from Houston. But that didn’t stop him from embracing the town and its people — particularly Houston’s kids — with his signature enthusiasm.
Under the tagline “Dream Big, Work Hard,” the JJ Watt Foundation provides after-school athletic opportunities for children in both Wisconsin and Houston. Sure, Watt’s not the first or only superstar player to start a nonprofit organization for kids. But he’s one of few I’ve seen to pull over at a peewee football practice to give the team a pep talk:
Takeaway for Content Marketers: Find new and innovative ways to give back to your community, your audience, your partners, and your advocates. (Tweet this)
OK, your turn: which sports figures do you turn to for inspiration as a content marketers? Share your thoughts with us in the Comments — we’d love to hear from you!
About the Author
A self-described geek who can recite entire episodes of South Park by heart, Rachel Parker has had a passion for content ever since she was old enough to hold a crayon (purple, please).
As Founder and CEO of Resonance, Rachel helps businesses publish content that connects with their audience … and converts those followers into customers. She’s also the host of the Content Marketing Podcast and a sought-after speaker, having presented to many major business and marketing organizations. Contact Rachel about speaking to your group or business.