A Brief Market Analysis of the Cameo app

What is Cameo?

Cameo is an app where celebrities, athletes, actors, and online personalities alike post prices for them to be ‘booked’ for personalized shoutout videos.

Every so often, I like to check out Cameo and monitor the prices of those featured. Self-pricing appearances is pretty hilarious. I realized in my head I was rating and ranking the values of the athletes / celebrities offering up a video message to any buyers. So why not jot down some of those names and values that stick out? As you might imagine, you’ve got some athletes and actors who clearly overvalue their relevance, with astronomical asking prices. Conversely, you also see some super low and reasonable prices, which is what intrigues me most. 

Amidst the COVID-19 quarantine, what better way for anyone looking for a fun remote method of passing on a birthday message than a Cameo!? 

While prices for bookings do fluctuate, as of April 19th, 2020, here are some notable values broken down by sport, (with a heavy amount of Boston-sports bias factored in).

MLB Notables:

Former MLB (and Red Sox) manager, Bobby Valentine: $40


Bobby V! Only $40 for what’s sure to be an interesting video. I almost would rather leave the prompt open-ended for a guy like Bobby V and hope for a directionless rant video. 

Former Braves outfielder, Andruw Jones: $100


$100 for Andrew Jones isn’t overpriced, nor is it a total steal, however, the item to note here is in Jones’ cameo bio. He self-identifies as a ‘Hall of Fame Baseball Player’!!! Bold move for a guy who’s peaked at getting 20% of votes for Cooperstown so far. I think he’s got a great case to be in the HoF despite his slow start to eligibility. But damn, preemptively identifying as a Hall of Famer is a WILD MOVE.

Former Twins Outfielder, Torii Hunter: $50


Nice value here for Torii Hunter, one of the great personalities baseball has to offer on this app. His videos are rock solid – so for any Minnesota Twins fans out there – definitely consider this one!

Former Red Sox manager, and current Cleveland Indians manager, Terry Francona: $75


Tito!!! $75 is well-worth it considering the prowess of this one. Tito shows as new to Cameo, so if you’re considering it, I would recommend booking him sooner rather than later. Might have to snag an appearance / shoutout by Francona for my podcast… hmmm

Cleveland Indians pitcher, Shane Bieber: $40


I’m not even a Cleveland fan, but wow – those guys in Ohio must be desperate for human interaction because several Cleveland athletes make my list of notables. Shane Bieber is a rising star for the Indians, and an emerging ace in baseball. $40 seems super reasonable for a guy who could be one of the best 10 pitchers in baseball within the next 3-5 years.

Former Cubs 3rd basemen, Aramis Ramirez: $15 


Awesome value here. Former All-Star for the Cubs and huge name for my 12-year old self to envision receiving a video message from. He might be one of the most underrated players from the 2000s era of baseball. A quietly very successful 18-year MLB career resulting in just shy of 400 home runs. Pretty awkward videos, but it’s only $15! 

Former Red Sox outfielder, Fred Lynn: $50


Fred Lynn, Red Sox legend and a proven great personality when he’s made appearances on NESN. I was sleeping on this one, and almost didn’t include it, but after watching his videos, I had no choice! 

Most overpriced: Red Sox outfielder Kevin Pillar: $150


This dude Kevin Pillar is charging the same cost, $150 as Pete Rose!!! WHAT?! I love the guts and super high self-worth, but wow. I wouldn’t pay this price if I was guaranteed a $100 mail-in rebate to follow it!

NFL notables:

A lot of NFL draft prospects in the fold here. While a few stood out to me as decent values, I’m going to stick with current and former NFL players here.

Patriots offensive lineman Marshall Newhouse: $15


This account, might not be active, considering I only see 3 reviews and his account still has him as a Carolina Panther, but at $15, I’m intrigued. Newhouse was a super relevant Patriots contributor last season (for better or for worse), and that reason alone solidifies his value for me here. This is my only Patriot listed, because to be honest, the others are underwhelming! Trey Flowers at $75 is probably my New England honorable mention. Other than that, the value lies elsewhere.

49ers assistant coach Katie Sowers: $95


Charity Cameo alert! The first woman to ever coach in a Superbowl is donating all money to Meals on Wheels – San Francisco. What an awesome way to give back at this time. This one’s a great value at any cost.  Love the idea of receiving or sending a motivational message via a charitable donation. On top of that, via Katie Sowers, a barrier-breaking woman in sports!

Bills back-up quarterback Matt Barkley: $19


Former USC Trojan and very relevant NFL quarterback for just $19? Rock solid. Not only that, but it looks like Barkley is super responsive, and posts videos pretty quickly.

Former Cleveland Browns offensive lineman Joe Thomas: $73


Joe Thomas is a lock to be a 1st ballot Hall of Famer when he becomes eligible in 2023. With that type of pedigree, a cost of $73 seems like an extremely fair price. That price, a tribute to his jersey #, makes Thomas an elite cameo option.

Most overpriced: Former NFL quarterback Josh Johnson: $1,000


The GUTS on this guy Josh Johnson to post his price at $1,000. Tied for the highest price with Michael Vick, Josh Norman, and Kam Chancellor. Such a bold move for a guy who started less than 10 NFL games total. Maybe this price is a mistake and he didn’t mean to do it? That being said, he only has 1 video and review, for what appears to be a fantasy football draft order. The review only says “Awesome”. Maybe he had a lower price and hiked it up randomly? One can only hope.

NBA notables:

Former NBA guard Larry Hughes: $10


This one got me excited. Not many great low-cost (below $25) NBA guys here, but Larry Hughes is a diamond in the rough at a mere ten bucks. Some of his videos are pretty brief – I saw a few at less than 15 seconds. But who knows, maybe the request didn’t have much info to base it off of.

NBA champion, and former Celtics/Grizzlies guard Tony Allen: $30


I just might do this one to be honest. At $30, a video from the Grindfather himself seems like a total steal. I would be stupid to not at least consider it for any upcoming birthdays for my Celtics fan friends. 

Mavericks center Boban Marjanovic: $75


Listen, 75 bucks is a decent amount of money for a video from a backup center, I get it. But hear me out here. Boban has everything you’d want from a Cameo video message. The notability – every NBA fan knows Boban, and would appreciate seeing any message from him. The personality – his videos are genuine and pretty long (about 1 min each). 

Louisville head coach Chris Mack: $75


Not an NBA guy, but this one caught my eye. The most notable and cost-friendly head coach I found, Chris Mack is a big name here. His videos are surprisingly long (over a minute for most), and very personable. I’m not friends with any big Louisville fans, but if I did, I imagine a message from Coach Mack would be a great choice.

NBA legend Tim Hardaway, Sr: $70


Not a Hall of Famer, but pretty darn close to it! The market for NBA personalities on Cameo really shoots up, so Hardaway seems like the best pick before prices get too insane (like $100 for Tony Delk?!).

Most overpriced: Former Bulls guard Ben Gordon: $700


The sticker shock on this one is real. We had plenty of contenders for most overpriced (Mo Bamba @ $275!), but Gordon easily takes the cake. 6 videos posted, and they’re VERY awkward. I don’t think I would recommend this one even to the biggest Ben Gordon fan. Maybe this is why they say don’t meet your heroes.

Non-athlete notables:

These other categories are VAST. So many deep cuts of actors and musicians to sift through, so here are a few of my notables to mention.

Larry Thomas, AKA ‘The Soup Nazi’ from Seinfeld: $80


Starting out with a BANG in this category. Ever want to hear “No soup for you!” from the famous Seinfeld character? Now’s your chance! This dude is CHURNING out Cameo videos. It shows 589 reviews, which is the most I’ve seen. 

Chris Hansen – To Catch A Predator: $50


I’m not sure I recommend this one, but if you’ve read this far – you might also be fascinated by Chris Hansen’s cameo videos. These are WEIRD. I’m not sure whether to laugh or cringe at Hansen doing some ‘To Catch a Predator’ roleplay in these videos. 

Ned Luke, AKA ‘Michael DeSanta’ from Grand Theft Auto 5: $40


I know voice actors can be hit or miss out of the context of their work, but Ned Luke brings his A-game on every single video here.

Robert R. Shafer, AKA ‘Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration’ from ‘The Office’: $75 


Bob Vance, Vance Refrigeration. All videos are done in character, with ‘The Office’ theme music playing in the background, and handing out honorary Dundies. All of those factors supplant Bob Vance onto my list. 

The greatest Cameo value of them all – ME: $500

Just kidding, I’m not available on the app. But with just the off-chance someone actually pays for me to make them a video, I just might have to make myself available. 

Feel free to comment with any great values on Cameo that I may have missed.

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-Mike Gilligan (@BigGilli, and @SmallStateTakes Podcast) – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/small-state-big-takes/id1432138166

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