There has been a lot of speculation over whether or not the Steelers should have re-signed their best receiver, Juju Smith-Shuster, to a second contract. Last time I checked, most Pittsburgh Steelers fans and media had JuJu on the first train out of Pittsburgh and had already wished him well with his new prospective team. Re-signing Smith-Shuster was the best business, and football move, the Steelers organization could have made.
This was not only the best decision Coach Mike Tomlin, General Manager Kevin Colbert and owner Art Rooney II could have made in their individual roles, this was the best move that the entire Steelers organization could make collectively.
Signing JuJu is good for Steelers business.
News flash folks, the NFL is a business.
Fans have consistently lamented JuJu’s social media presence and overall brand building. The fans may not get it, but the Steelers marketing team should love the fact JuJu is a media darling and offers them an NFL marketing coup.
The Steelers and JuJu’s collective brands will continue to grow together for at least another year, but this relationship should be extended well beyond that.
JuJu is a mere 23 years old. His brand building will most definitely have a strong trickle-up effect on the Steelers’ brand. This means the Steelers organization sells more No. 19 jerseys, other Steelers merchandise and ticket packages to fans and game suites to corporations.
As JuJu continues to finesse social media and build his brand, so goes the brand of the Steelers. I’m still trying to figure out how re-signing JuJu could possibly be bad for Steelers’ business. Off the field JuJu has been a model citizen and a beacon of hope for the community.
In this business, as Herm Edwards bluntly put it “you play to win the game. Hello!” That’s what Juju has done since he first put on a Steelers uniform.
Juju plays with Steeler pride, passion, and poise. No matter what you think of his Tik-Tok and touchdown celebration dances, he plays with a toughness that exemplifies Steelers football.
He has made the biggest splash plays of any receiver on the Steelers roster since his arrival.
From a business and an on-the-field perspective, re-signing JuJu made good Steelers business sense, point-blank, period!