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Loyalty and Rewards

Julian Edelman on His Business, Fans, and Where He Finds Creativity

What qualities can you take from the football field into your business endeavors?

I would say first and foremost is adaptability. Getting better at something you need to work on every day. If you don’t stay ahead of the curve and make sure that you’re not falling behind the times, in any line of business, it doesn’t matter how talented you are; you’re going to have that moment where you realize you’ve fallen off. 

How have you been able to engage fans during both the regular season and the off-season?

This is really important to me. We have such an amazing and crazy fan base that connecting with them and making them feel the love back is something I try to accomplish every year. During the off-season, it’s a little easier. Whether it’s on the streets of Boston or at an event, I try to make sure anyone who’s a fan and lets me know that I hear them and I appreciate it. In-season is obviously more of a struggle, but I try to interact on social media, and for the past three years during the bye week we’ve done a JE11 Pop-up shop on Newbury St. in Boston. Every year it’s been a zoo, and getting to meet these people that support me and support our team is just an awesome experience. 

When and where do you find you’re most creative, and how have you been able to execute all the ideas you have?

For me it’s all reactionary. I am a very visual person, and when I get an idea it’s often because I am using inspiration from my personal life. Whether it’s what I’m watching on TV, something cool on social media, or something I see out in the real world, I try to use those real-life examples to build off of and tweak in my own way. From there, I have a talented team that works with me to get my initial spark of creativity to a good place. It is all a group effort, but making sure you don’t ignore your impulses and your personal style is very important to me. No idea is a bad idea when you’re in that creative workshopping zone. 

What’s the most interesting way a fan has shown their loyalty to you? 

I think it was two years ago. I was at a Celtics game sitting in the crowd, and this big Boston-looking dude with his Celtics jersey and backwards Sox hat on came up and asked for my autograph. I asked him what he wanted me to sign and he pointed to his forearm. He told me he was going to get it tattooed, and sure enough, a week later on Instagram he tagged me in a post and he actually did it. New Englanders don’t mess around when it comes to their sports.  

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