Patrick Mahomes, the superstar quarterback for the Kansas City Chiefs, was crowned MVP after leading his team to victory in Super Bowl LIV on Sunday. In ceremonious fashion, when asked what he planned to do next, the generational quarterback replied, “I’m going to Disney World!” For a little bit of history on this statement, let’s discuss the significance of those five words, and how they helped shape the modern marketing industry.
Back in 1987, Disney introduced the “What’s Next?” campaign after Super Bowl XXI, when it paid then-New York Giants quarterback Phil Simms $75,000 to say “I’m going to Disney World!” after he was named Most Valuable Player that year, as reported by the New York Times.
The media conglomerate is known to invite players who say the 5 magic words to a parade at one of its theme parks. Unsurprisingly, Mahomes enthusiastically accepted the offer and rode alongside Mickey Mouse on a float at Walt Disney World on Monday.
Experts estimate that Mahomes’ shoutout was worth at least $5 million in publicity for Disney. Mahomes endorsed Disney shortly after he led a historic comeback against the San Francisco 49ers in a game that was viewed by over 102 million people. Some experts even predict that his five words could generate more than $1 billion in additional sales for the company.
While perhaps these numbers sound a bit inflated, consider this: the shoutout is likely to spur thousands of people to book vacations at Disney hotels or cruises, motivate them to buy tickets to its many theme parks, subscribe to Disney+, or even go see “Mulan” in the theaters – not to mention helping spurn sales for Disney toys, clothing, and video games.
Mahomes’ five magic words brought his career full-circle, as the superstar quarterback tweeted “I bet it feels amazing to be the quarterback who says ‘I’m going to Disney World’ after winning the Super Bowl #Qbs,” back in February 2013.
That tweet from seven years ago “solidified the authenticity of his words, showing that this is undoubtedly something he’s always dreamed of experiencing,” Matthew Micheli, managing partner of influencer agency Viral Nation, told Business Insider in an email.
“This clearly resonated with his fans,” he added, as “that particular clip was viewed millions of times.”