Tom Brady who won a 2015 Chevy Colorado after being awarded Super Bowl XLIX MVP, wants to give the truck to the Patriots’ cornerback Malcolm Butler.
“I would love to give Malcolm the truck,” Brady told Dennis & Callahan of Boston’s sports radio WEEI. “We are going to figure out how to make that happen.”
Butler, an undrafted rookie from West Alabama, rose to glory and notoriety after he intercepted a pass from Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson on the 1-yard line with 26 seconds left on the clock to cement the Patriots’ 28-24 win over Seattle.
“A guy like Malcolm who makes that type of quick, instinctive plays, that’s one of his strong suits,” said Brady. “I don’t think it surprised any of us players because thats what his skill set is.”
U.S. vice president of Marketing, Paul Edwards, awarded the truck to Brady during the MVP’s press conference Monday after the Super Bowl.
“The Chevy Colorado, like Tom Brady, is truly a game changer,” said Edwards. He then went on to boast the truck’s features.
The gimmick is a great marketing opportunity for Chevrolet. Hijacking the MVP’s press conference to plug your product in front of the media and have the Super Bowl’s MVP pose for a few photos holding his Pete Rozelle MVP Trophy and the keys to the Chevy truck is obviously valuable exposure for the brand.
What is not so obvious is why the company decided to give to give Tom Brady a $34,000 truck.
According to the Boston Globe, Brady’s last contract will guarantee him $7 million in 2015, $8 million in 2016 and $9 million in 2017. And his salary cap charges in those seasons will be $13 million, $14 million and $15 million. (Though that may sound like a lot, Brady’s current contract ranks him 17th among NFL quarterbacks in average annual value.)
Anyone at that income level would most likely not parade around in a $34,000 truck.
But what Brady meant by “going to figure out how to make that happen” when referring to giving the truck away to Butler, probably has something to do with the tax implications of such pricey gifts.
According to Forbes’ contributor Brian Ellis, the truck is considered a taxable prize under the Internal Revenue Code, section 74, and it’s taxed at Tom Brady’s marginal federal income tax rate of 39.6 percent (plus whatever state taxes may apply), and while there should be no tax bill on the gift for Butler, Brady would have to pay a gift tax on this transaction. Because the tax code only allows you to give $14,000 tax free from any one person to any one person before assessing a donor level tax on the gift and assuming this will be Brady’s only gift to Butler this year, the transaction sets up a taxable gift for Brady of $20,000 (the $34,000 value of the truck minus the $14,000 gift tax exclusion). [Click here for Ellis’ full explanation of his calculations.]
Perhaps Chevrolet’s decision to give a Chevy Colorado to the MVP was based on what they wanted to promote because they never thought he, whether it was going to be Brady or Wilson, would keep it and be seen around town in it anyway.
Brady’s decision to give the truck away probably generated more press about the truck than Chevrolet’s initial marketing push did, which is good PR for Chevrolet and great PR for Brady.
According to Yahoo! Autos, Aaron Rodgers was awarded a Camaro convertible in 2011; Eli Manning a Corvette Grand Sport in 2012; Joe Flacco won a Corvette in 2013, and last year Malcolm Smith got a full-size Silverado.
I wonder what happened to those vehicles. I hope Eli Manning and Joe Flacco used their respective Corvettes a least a few times.