Even though it was the end of the day, when energy levels were dipping Alex Collins was still full of life. After going through his photo shoot at the 22nd annual NFLPA Rookie Premiere just after 4 o’clock, he was still joking with the photographers. He had just had his picture taken almost 100 times, but upon viewing the finished products, he wanted a couple more shots: this time, of his tattoos. (“Some of these hurt!” he told them.)
Afterward, Collins thanked the crew for documenting his artwork. They thanked him for being so enthusiastic, even though he was one of the final players to come through. That’s been Collins’ week in a nutshell – collecting compliments and earning praise at each partner stop at the event. He sat down with the NFLPA to talk about how personalities can shine through at Rookie Premiere and how that can change a player’s business career:
NFLPA: What does this event do to bring out sides of players for businesses to see?
Collins: It shows your character and your personality a little bit more. It’s always different, especially football, you can’t really see the players. So people can’t really get to know you. They get to know you on the field, but they really don’t get to know you outside of the pads. I feel like this definitely shows that, and is a way for other people to get a look inside you.
NFLPA: Do you find your personality coming out even more?
Collins: Definitely. Working with these guys, you’re learning their personalities as well. It’s fun, everyone wants to come and have fun. You see everybody laughing and the character coming out. It’s fun doing all the different things for different partners.
NFLPA: You’re going to a place in Seattle that has produced some pretty big marketing stars – Russell Wilson, Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch – do you feel you can step into that because of what you’ve learned here?
Collins: It’s definitely a step forward toward that. I will also talk to those guys and get information from them. They’ve been here, they’ve done this, so I can definitely get advice from those guys moving forward.
NFLPA: What is the biggest thing you’re taking away from this, besides being a personality? Is it also relationship-building?
Collins: I would say the one thing I take away from this most, is that you’re meeting all these good people and all these different sponsors and all these different brands – and you take from that, these are good people. They’ll help you advance your brand, yourself and how to become better, by making yourself more marketable. I have open ears toward everyone who speaks, because everyone has some lesson to give you. That’s what I take. Listen to everybody and just take in what they have to offer.
NFLPA: Do you still pinch yourself that you’re here and being asked to do stuff like this for major companies?
Collins: It’s a lot of fun. You’re having fun out here with these guys – it’s mind-blowing – because a year ago, I wasn’t in this situation. A year ago, I wasn’t doing the stuff I’m doing now. It’s, ‘Wow, I get to wake up and go do this today.’ It’s definitely exciting and something to look forward to.