It’s Thursday night, September 6th; opening night of the new NFL season. The Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles are playing the Atlanta Falcons in Philly. This game is a rematch of last year’s Divisional round playoff game that went down to the wire. Fans who have been itching for football to finally be back are tuned in. The game drew 19.5 million viewers, nearly 5 million more than the average NFL game.
Near the end of the first half, Falcon’s quarterback Matt Ryan ran for 4 yards. At the end of his run, he had an awkward slide, and his knee brace broke. As the trainers ripped the brace off of his leg, the logo of the brace maker, BREG, was shown. Per Apex Marketing Group, the value of that airtime for BREG was worth $225,000.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 7, 2018
A week later, Ryan had his brace break once again in a very important game against the division rival Carolina Panthers. Instead of taking a timeout, the Falcons put the backup quarterback in the game. On the next play he fumbled the ball on the snap, causing the Falcons to lose 8 yards and their drive to end. The Falcons won the game, but had they not, I think BREG could’ve caught a lot of heat. This begs the question: should BREG be happy about this free advertising, or should they be concerned about their products negatively affecting professional athletes performance on national television? Ryan isn’t the only QB to have trouble with his knee brace. Joe Flacco of the Ravens is notorious for breaking knee braces on slides. While it is unclear if Flacco uses BREG’s braces, I think many fans are writing the braces’ failure as unavoidable, due to the violent nature of football. I wouldn’t be surprised if BREG was coming up with a less-breakable version of their braces as you read this.