RENTON, Wash. (USA Today) — Dozens of passengers at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport impatiently waited Wednesday morning at gate D1 to board their Alaska Airlines flight to Atlanta. First class went first, of course, followed by what might as well be called Seahawks class.
“Anyone wearing a Russell Wilson jersey,” the gate agent announced, “can board now.”
This is standard practice here in Seattle, where Wilson inked an endorsement deal with the airline late last year, one of a handful of multi-year endorsements the Seahawks quarterback has secured during his rapid rise to NFL stardom.
Though NFL rules will prevent Wilson from negotiating a new contract until next year — he’ll make $817,302 this season in salary and bonuses in the third year of his four-year rookie contract — there is nothing stopping Wilson from cashing in off the field right now. And as an ascending 25-year-old Super Bowl winner with a squeaky-clean image, sports marketing experts predict Wilson is putting himself in position to be the new face of the NFL.