Closer Brian Wilson is getting a lot of attention for his facial hair.
Brian Wilson, with all due to respect to Tim Lincecum, is the face of the Giants.
And the face of Brian Wilson is, um, his face.
Or, more specifically, his beard is his face, which has become a symbol of all things warlock-y within the Giants organization, as well as a World-Series-winning team that took the country by storm with their collective wackiness.
It's not just in a literal sense either, because Wilson's beard is probably one of the more valuable things in the entire Giants organization. It sells merchandise, it galvanizes fans, it's the basis for commercials and it brings the team attention.
But how much is Wilson's beard actually worth?
Dave Gershman of Beyond the Box Score wrote Monday morning that an anonymous source told him that the "beard has generated many, many millions."
Is this possible? And if so, how? Well, "yes," and "because people love that pile of hair on Wilson's grill."
Think about it -- the mantra for the 2010 team was "Fear the Beard." There's a "Sportscenter" ad that pretty much just revolves around the whiskers.
"Wilson’s role in the Giants’ road to a World Series trophy naturally boosted him into the national spotlight," Brandan Orsatti of Cohn Wolfe in New York City told NBCBayArea.com. "His peculiar personality, however, elevated his likability and his beard became the distinguishing attribute that really personified his character.
"From a marketing perspective, I would say his beard not only doubled the opportunities he was presented, but also doubled the cost compared to a typical athlete in his position."
Think about how insane that is -- because Wilson didn't shave for a couple months, his value as an employee has doubled. Do you know anyone else who can go to the office, work hard every day and make MORE money because they didn't shave? I doubt it.
But maybe most important to remember is that Wilson hasn't even maxed out what he's worth quite yet -- there's still plenty of potential endorsement opportunities on the horizon.
"What is interesting is how it has raised Wilson's national profile for brands," said Christian Matthews of Taylor in NYC. "He could potentially follow the model set by Troy Polamalu, who in August had his hair insured for one million dollars by (Proctor & Gamble's) Head and Shoulders brand."
Polamalu's decision to sign on with the shampoo -- and the "rival deal" for Clay Matthews with Suave that resulted as well -- has been a huge boost to his Q Rating. Everyone in and around football knew who Polamalu was, but the commercials and the insurance move have resulted in the common fan -- and the non-fans -- knowing his face, rather than just his luxurious locks flowing from under his helmet.
Wilson has the added benefit of people already knowing everything about his look, and also the added benefit of what can best be described as the "beard club" -- trust me, as someone who's had a beard as thick as Wilson's, it's an exclusive group of men who respect one another. (It's like driving a International Scout 4x4 -- if you see someone else driving one, you nod approvingly.)
All of which is to say, that's it really not that difficult -- when you include the merchandise sales, the potential for endorsements, the commercial revenue and the boost to the team's popularity -- to presume that Wilson's beard is worth at least eight figures or more.
Perhaps it's impossible to actually attach a specific value to his locks of facial hair, but $9,999,999.00 ain't a bad place to start.