How effective is influencer marketing? Tom Brady wants to put it to the test — with his own brand. The brand, called TB12, aims to be a health and wellness guide based on his NFL career. While most NFL quarterbacks call it a day after three years, Brady is still going strong on his nineteenth. But will the player be able to replicate his timeless performance on the field in the business of branding too?

In the past, Brady has worked with an eclectic group of brands including Aston Martin, UGG, Dunkin’ Donuts and Under Armour. This promiscuous past might result from the fact that, compared to more relatable athletes, football players make very little on endorsements (also called the helmet theory). This might have also influenced Brady’s decision to simply build his own brand, which includes online and offline features like a habit-building app and a $200 cookbook.

On Instagram — the original brand-building platform itself — Brady is a mega-influencer with 4.3 million followers. Influencers who fall in this range usually garner a 10% engagement lift for the brand posts they promote, according to Gartner L2’s insight report on the topic. However, it’s not certain whether the same lift applies to an influencer’s own brand. And if TB12 is as haphazard as Brady’s past endorsements with brands have been, it risks becoming nothing more than a fad or a failed endeavor, as many past celebrity brands have been. On the flip side, if it taps into trends and stays on course with its original purpose, it could also soar into niche-y stardom, as Gwyneth Paltrow’s goop has done.

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