Stop the presses: 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick is from Turlock, Calif.
Of course, Turlockers have long known this. Folks from Reno, Nev., where Kap played his college football, are also well aware.
But for the rest of the United States, the news comes as a surprise. Not in a “oh, that's cool, Turlock,” fashion, but in a “where in the heck is Turlock” sort of surprise.
Kaepernick, and his ceaseless talk of his hometown, have put Turlock on the map. Now, football fans across the nation have heard of this little Valley town.
While attending a recent conference, Turlock Mayor John Lazar was overwhelmed by attendees quick to say, 'Oh, Turlock, where Kaepernick is from, right?' Before, few knew of Turlock.
And after Sunday's Super Bowl, where Kap's hometown is sure to be mentioned at least once, Turlock's exposure will only increase.
If commentators talk about Turlock for just 10 seconds during the Super Bowl, the mention could be worth $1.3 million. That's based on the $3.8 million charged to advertisers for a 30 second spot during the big game.
Add in the exposure from countless interviews during media week and earlier postseason games, and the casual mentions of Turlock could be worth tens of millions in brand-building.
Already, Kap mania has resulted in big bucks for local businesses.
Main St. Footers has seen a huge surge in customers since the introduction of the Kaepernick Dog, telling the San Francisco Chronicle that business has nearly doubled. Other local stores with Kaepernick-themed goodies, like Frost with its Kap-Cakes, have seen similar results.
And shoppers aren't just from Turlock, or even Stanislaus County. 49ers faithful from across the state have journeyed to Turlock to see Kap's hometown – and spend their hard-earned money on Kap merchandise, food, hotel rooms, and gasoline.
TurlockCityNews.com has seen a similar impact from Kaepernick's exposure. When a Colin Kaepernick Fan Page shared a TurlockCityNews.com story that there would be a “Colin Kaepernick Day,” 81 percent of traffic came new visitors. Those visitors – a surprising amount of whom were from Stanislaus County – didn't just click on the Kap story, though; many visitors clicked through the site, reading several stories.
“Kaepernick news has increased the traffic to TurlockCityNews.com exponentially, and even more importantly, has made people want to know what’s going on within their city,” TurlockCityNews.com owner and publisher David “DJ” Fransen said.