By Barry Janoff
September 24, 2014: Aaron Rodgers is known for his prowess on the football field as quarterback for the NFL's Green Bay Packers, which sometimes entails him throwing long bombs to his receivers.
But Rodgers is also known for another type of bomb — the photobomb — especially when it comes to crashing pictures that others are taking of his teammates.
Since early in his pro career, which dates back to 2005, Rodgers has made it his quest to appear in as many photos featuring other players as possible, with a particular penchant for appearing in every pre-game photo taken of the honorary team captains for the day.
Now, Associated Bank is putting Rodgers photobombing in marketing.
The Green Bay-based financial firm, which is a sponsor of the team and traces its alliance with the Packers to 1919, has unveiled a campaign, "Most Valuable Photobomber," asking people to create their own photobombs. The reward: a football autographed by Rodgers.
"He is there to make his mark in every captains' photo," Jim Biever, long-time Packers team photographer, says in a video via NFL Fims supporting the effort. Adds Packers head coach Mike McCarthy, "Aaron has become a mini-legend in photobombing."
"The first year I was kind of in the background, and then I started to get a little quirky," Rodgers offers in the spot. But people still didn't notice."
Rodgers says he has progressed to using such props as a camera, Gatorade cups fashioned as a pair of binoculars, hats, party favors and a pirate's eye-patch.
According to Associated Bank, people can participate in the "Most Valuable Photobomber" event by going to any Wisconsin Associated Bank branch and taking a photo with a life-size Aaron Rodgers cutout; or visiting a dedicated Web site where they can upload a photo "that will be photobombed by the an image of Rodgers.
People who share their photo on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest with the hashtag #GoodFit will automatically be entered to win one of ten footballs signed by Rodgers. Associated Bank said the winners would be randomly chosen at the end of the sweepstakes, which runs through Dec. 31. (Details here.)
In addition to the MVP 'Most Valuable Photobomber' sweepstakes, people who go through the Associated Packers Fan Experience at all home games in Lambau Field this season "will receive their photo with the featured photobomb from Aaron Rodgers."
The campaign comes as Rodgers and Green Bay have struggled early in the season (1-2 and ranked 28th in total years through three weeks). To which Rodgers said this week on his weekly local radio show on ESPN, "Five letters here just for everybody out there in Packer-land: R-E-L-A-X. Relax. We're going to be OK."
Rodgers takes in about $6 million annually in local and national endorsements, according to industry analysts, including State Farm and Nike. He has been working with Associated Bank since 2011.
"Aaron Rodgers is an MVP both on and off the field," Christopher Piotrowski, CMO for Associated Bank, said in a statement. "While he is definitely a 'Most Valuable Player' on the team, he also holds the title of 'Most Valuable Photobomber.' We thought the time has come to fully appreciate the art of photobombing and to honor No.12, one of the best in the business."