How 49ers QB Purdy went from Mr. Irrelevant to Toyota spokesperson

How 49ers QB Purdy went from Mr. Irrelevant to Toyota spokesperson originally appeared on NBC Sports Bay Area

Brock Purdy’s NFL journey takes another significant step Sunday when his new “Tackle Anything” ad campaign, in partnership with Northern California Toyota Dealers, debuts during the 49ers’ game against the Los Angeles Rams.

Purdy is the latest Bay Area sports star to serve as a Toyota brand ambassador, as former Giants catcher Buster Posey and legendary 49ers quarterback Steve Young held the role in the past.

“California Live” host Jobeth Devera recently spoke to Trey Curtola, the chairman of H/L Advertising, about why Purdy was the right person for the campaign.

“Here comes Brock Purdy, sort of out of nowhere and hit the scene, and became the darling of the NFL, and then got hurt and then came back, and once again, is the darling of the NFL,” Curtola told Devera. “So along that journey that he took, we were in discussions with his agent because it really seemed like his character was something we would typically look for in alignment with the Toyota brand. And it was a good fit, and he’s 23 years old.

“He’s still young, and what he’s done so far, particularly his ascent from that draft pick to where he is now, is an incredible story, an incredible journey, and we wanted to align with that, but more importantly align with his brand and his character.”

The 49ers used the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, known as Mr. Irrelevant, on Purdy and brought him to last year’s training camp as the fourth quarterback. But he forced his way up to No. 3 on the depth chart by the time the season rolled around.

Season-ending injuries sustained by starter Trey Lance and backup Jimmy Garoppolo forced Purdy into action just seven months after he was drafted.

The stage didn’t overwhelm the Iowa State product, as he led the 49ers to six consecutive wins to close out the 2022 season, including five consecutive starts. Then he helped San Francisco beat the Seattle Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys in the playoffs before a UCL injury against the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC Championship Game ended his season.

RELATED: Mr. Relevant: Brock Purdy’s NFL Story

But just six months after undergoing elbow surgery, Purdy was back on the field to lead the 49ers to a Week 1 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers.

“Toyota has this mantra, ‘There is no best, only better with constant improvement,’ and Brock kind of has that, coming from Mr. Irrelevant to get where he is now as starting quarterback on one of the best teams in the NFL. He just wants to keep getting better,” Dave Johnston, president of Northern California Toyota Dealers, told Devera. “And we felt it was just a great fit.”

Purdy’s story is just starting, and Toyota will be along for the ride with the QB.

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