Genie Bouchard did something very simple that could have an incredible impact on her career and public perception. She accepted a bet on Twitter. During this year’s Super Bowl, the tennis player was so sure the Atlanta Falcons would get the win, she accepted a deal with a random guy, that if the New England Patriots pull-off the comeback, she would go on a date with him.
@geniebouchard if patriots win we go on a date?
— TW1 (@punslayintwoods) February 6, 2017
Needless to say, the New England Patriots managed to pull off the comeback, one of the greatest in history. As for Bouchard, she delivered on her promise, and went on a date with John Goehrke, or @punslayintwoods.
Lesson learned. Never bet against Tom Brady ?
— Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) February 6, 2017
How exactly did this date, which apparently went very well, help Bouchard’s career? It was a marketing gift from the gods. Everyone was talking about the number 45-player in the world, her bet and her date. The NBA, Bleacher Report, New England Patriots, Sports Illustrated, the BBC, the Telegraph and anyone else you could possibly imagine was covering her bet and following the couple on their date via Twitter and Instagram.
She also gained an insane amount of Twitter followers. Bouchard’s Twitter analytics tell the full story. On the day of the Super Bowl, Sunday February 5th, the Canadian had less than 100,000 followers on the social media site. By the following day she added another 7,000 followers, and within ten days (February 16th) she added nearly 35,000 followers. Then she went on her date, and Bouchard’s Twitter following jumped by another nearly 60,000, and still counting. She’s been gaining on average 2,782 followers a day and tweeting only three times. Bouchard also has more than 1.3 million followers on her Instagram account.
But there’s a reason for it. Genie Bouchard’s night out, and the social media frenzy that went along with it, may have been calculated. Goehrke did a Q&A for Fox Sports, and unveiled that Bouchard and her agent had already planned the entire night. Goehrke said they “took pictures out front and she had me kiss her on the cheek for the last pic so I thought that was a good way to end the night.”
Everything was posted on social media, which makes you question how much was of the night was calculated in order to make some social media noise.
Bouchard was already named as one of the 50 most marketable in 2016, and a year before that she was named the most marketable athlete beating out Neymar, and Jordan Spieth. Bouchard was the first woman to ever top SportsPro’s list of marketable athletes.
At the time, Bouchard was at the top of her game. In 2014, she was ranked number 5 in the world and remained in the top 10 during the first half of 2015. But then everything went south, and Bouchard dropped in the rankings, falling as far as the 60s. The Canadian was able to climb back up to number 45, and has held on to many sponsorships. She also teamed up with Women’s Health Magazine and Colgate, revealing her workouts.
At the moment, Bouchard seems to be doing just fine, even if she’s not at the top of the tennis world, and a lot of it is because of her social media accounts. Her appearance in Sports Illustrated’s famous Swimsuit Edition, which came out the same week as the date, doesn’t seem to be hurting her either.
She’s a young, good looking, professional tennis player, with a great attitude and smile. What’s not to like and not to market? But it doesn’t seem Bouchard really needs anyone to market her, she seems to be doing a great job so far using social media.