Top 10 NFL© Endorsement Kings

Top 10 NFL© Endorsement Kings
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Erma Bombeck once said that “If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead.” However, isn’t it incredible that the players themselves (not the fans or game attendees) who’re supposed to be ‘legally dead’ at the end of a competition (because of the risks associated with participation) handle the risks well and their pockets keep getting flushed with enormous cash?

So many people wonder where the extra earnings /extra occupational wealth of some athletes come from apart from their basic salaries/winnings. Well, it’s from ENDORSEMENTS – an innovative way through which professionals/marketable stars are used for the expansion of brands. Now, let’s track some professional athletes’ endorsement earnings; see where all ‘that money’ is coming from and why their respective endorsement industries leverage on their influence.

1. Peyton Manning

The man who never saw a product he couldn’t endorse Peyton Manning crushes the field with $12 Million in 2015 in endorsement earnings. The 2006 NFL Super Bowl™ Champion and MVP is considered highly likable by marketing companies.

Despite taking an estimated $4 Million salary pay cut in 2015 Manning’s $15 Million 2015 salary still puts him amongst the highest on field players in the league. Couple that with the huge endorsement campaigns from Papa Johns, Buick, DirecTV, Gatorade, Nike, and Nationwide Insurance Manning is still one of the highest paid professional football players of all time.

Date of Birth:24 March 1976
Salary: $15 Million (source: ESPN)
Endorsements: $12 Million
Net Worth: $185 Million
Education: University of Tennessee

2. Drew Brees

Drew Brees, the 2009 season Football Champion and New Orleans hero, has spent the best part of his career playing for the New Orleans Saints. He holds virtually every single season Saints record including touchdown passes 424,
careers passer rating: 95.6 and most 5000 yards seasons (4).

Marketing company’s have long noticed Drew Brees’s public appeal to the tune of $11 million in 2015. Brees has endorsements from Fortune 500 Goliath’s Pepsi, Verizon, Nike, Proctor & Gamble and Wrangler.

Date of Birth: 15 January 1979
Salary: $11 Million (source:Forbes)
Endorsements: $11 Million
Net Worth: $105 Million
Education: Purdue University

3. Eli Manning: $8 million

New York Giants starting quarterback Eli Manning (young brother of Peyton Manning) is the 3rd highest paid play off the Professional Football field making a whopping $8 Million in endorsements.

Being the starting quarterback in the largest media market in the United States paired with 2 Pro Football Championships Eli Manning has 2015 endorsements from marketing giants Toyota Motor, DirecTV, Citizen watches, Gatorade and Dunkin’ Donuts

Date of Birth: 3 January 1981
Salary: $15.7 Million
Endorsements: $8 Million
Net Worth: $85 Million
Education: University of Mississippi

4. Aaron Rodgers

Mike Lawrie of Getty for Forbes

Mike Lawrie of Getty for Forbes

Aaron Rodgers is an NFL Champion Quarterback Green Bay Packers approximately 100 miles north of Milwaukee. Rodgers is the all time NFL leader in QB rating and holds the single season record for Touchdown to Interception ratio.

As of this year Rodgers will make the playoffs 7 consecutive seasons, his success on the football field has made him a target for such advertisers as Adidas and State Farm. Those 2 campaigns alone netted Rodgers an estimated $7.5 Million in 2015.

Date of Birth: 2 December 1983
Salary: $1 Million
Endorsements: $7.5 Million
Net Worth: $61 Million
Education: University of California

5. Brett Favre



From a marketing stand point, this MVP award winner is back on track. The American born superstar is the only player to win the AP Most Valuable Player three consecutive times and holds many NFL records. Despite his sexing allegations in late 2010, he has taken his pads, helmet and jersey to slip into the world of endorsement.

This former NFL Quarterback who signed off from the game in 2011 has turned his athletic acumen into an express financial success with Nike, Wrangler Jeans, Snapper, Rx Pro pain cream, YOLO paddle boards and Foot Locker. His story is similar to that of Woods, Bryant, Vick and Phelps as it portrays how troubled athletes can regain their marketability and uphold themselves as endorsable athletes. He earns between $7 million and $9 million per year from endorsements and has an estimated worth of about $100 million.

Date of Birth: 10 October 1969
Salary: Retired
Endorsements: $7 Million
Net Worth: $110 Million
Education: University of Mississippi

6. Russell Wilson

the source

the source

Russell Wilson’s name pops up whenever you mention the Seattle Seahawks and his on-field and off-field potentials are note-worthy. This presumed back up starter and 2014 Super Bowl champion maintains a reputable image during play and as proven to be one of the NFL’s most marketable players.

Wilson endorsement chain keeps getting longer at yearly earnings of $6 million and he keeps doing his thing for the American Family Insurance, Bose, Microsoft and Braun. However, he’s not to be confused with the Oklahoma City’s Russell Westbrook as they are different Russells’ doing their things in separate ways.

Date of Birth: 29 November 1988
Salary: $749,200
Endorsements: $7 Million
Net Worth: $14 Million
Education: University of Wisconsin

7. J.J. Watt

LA Times

LA Times

If you’re thinking of someone who has the gaudy statistics for NFL and has pieced a successful career together in the moving market of endorsements, then J.J. Watt has to come to your mind. He’s the destructive force of the Houston Texas and he’s also making it real big in endorsements as he stands out to be the highest paid ‘defensive player’ off the field.

Watt’s diligence and sense of humor seems to be what connects him with the consumers of the several brands he represents. He’s at approximately $7 million in endorsement earnings and his current deals include that of the American Family Insurance, Ford, Gatorade, Yahoo, NRG Energy, Verizon, Papa John’s and H-E-B. He’s also one of the faces of the “Be More Human” campaign of Reebok which has Adidas as its parent company.

Date of Birth: 22 March 1989
Salary: $9.96 Million
Endorsements: $7 Million
Net Worth: $29.1 Million
Education: Central Michigan / University of Wisconsin

8. Tom Brady

Considered by many to be a vital force for the New England Patriots, he enjoys being a winner of four Super Bowls and another success of being an endorsement star despite the “Deflategate” scandal (which he came out from relatively unscratched). Unlike his peers in the world of endorsement, he holds on to a small portfolio as he’s selective when it comes to the brands he represents.

His annual endorsement earning is estimated to be about $7 million, representing the UGG boots, Under Armour, Glaceau Smartwater and Movado. Another lovely deal under his belt is being married to Gisele Bundchen – the world’s highest paid supermodel. What an ego!

Date of Birth: 3 August 1977
Salary: $8 Million
Endorsements: $7 Million
Net Worth: $120 Million
Education: University of Michigan

9. Tony Romo: $5 million

Is there anyone spicy right now than this dude from Dallas Cowboys? He’s one of the most popular quarterbacks in the NFL and the signal caller for the “America’s Team” with a 14 franchise and 5 NFL passing records. Irrespective of the fact that he has never lead the Cowboys to the Super Bowl (like Russell Wilson did for the Seahawks), this professional athlete has positioned himself as a marketers’ dream.

Tony Romo earns $5 million in endorsements and is known for his Direct TV campaign. He’s not only the talk of the TV; he does it well for Panini America, Pizza Hut and Under Armour. He might not be on the on-field ‘winners’ cycle but he keeps turning it up a notch with endorsements.

Date of Birth: 21 April 1980
Salary: $1 Million ($16 Million Bonus 2016)
Endorsements: $5 Million
Net Worth: $54 Million
Education: Eastern Illinois University

10. Richard Sherman

by Monte Isom

by Monte Isom

Richard Sherman is an American NFL starting shut-down cornerback for the Seattle Seahawks. Sherman continuously gets the luxurious (and difficult) duty of shutting down the opposing teams top wide receiver.

Sherman’s rise to the national spotlight came when he deflected what would have been a last second game-winning touchdown for the San Francisco 49ers in the 2013 NFC championship game. The play was so it’s been coined the “the Immaculate Deflection” and is considered one of the most memorable defensive plays in recent sports history.

Sherman’s post game rant celebrating his one-on-one victories over 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree caught the eye of millions and allowed Sherman to be the most marketable cornerback in football.

Date of Birth: 30 March 1988
Salary: $14 Million
Endorsements: $5 Million (est. Forbes)
Net Worth: $15 Million
Education: Stanford University