Athletes don’t earn income strictly from their prowess in a particular sport. In many cases, they earn more money from their product endorsements than their performance contracts and tournament winnings. Having a well known athlete promote a product or brand can be a huge boon to a business, so many are willing to pay top dollar for the best player(s) in their respective sport, or perhaps a particular athlete whose personality or skill is compatible with their brand.
There is a wide array of products that athletes promote, covering about every aspect of business. Anything from fast food franchises, insurance providers, vehicle manufacturers, beverages, clothing, electronics and much more, companies are always looking for a well-known athlete to back their product. Some commercials you will see that the athlete-product match just doesn’t seem right. Nothing against Kia, but do they expect us to believe Blake Griffin, who just signed a five-year $95 million dollar contract, drives a Kia Optima? Kia, please. Others you will see and it’s a match made in heaven, like Troy Polamalu’s series of Head and Shoulders shampoo commercials, which were hilarious and completely applicable once you take a look at the mop Troy is rocking.
The following list is comprised of products these particular athletes should endorse. While some of the selections are at the expense of a scandal, physical feature or lapse in judgment, they all would be perfect fits.
15. Brett Favre: Cyber Dust
If you’re not familiar with Cyberdust, it’s a communication platform that will cause all communication to delete without allowing the users to take a snapshot or download it to a hard drive. With the increasing scandals arising from social media communication in the professional sporting world, it’s shocking sports franchises don’t require their players to utilize it. The NFL began an investigation in 2010, due to allegations Favre sent sexually inappropriate messages to New York Jets “Gameday Host” Jenn Sterger.
Forensic analysts were unable to prove it was Favre who actually sent the messages, but he was still stuck with a $50,000 fine from the NFL. While sexual harassment is not something to take lightly, Favre would have avoided public scrutiny, and saved himself from a hefty fine in the process had he been using Cyberdust.
14. Iman Shumpert: Slim Jim
They are not aired as much now as they were in the 90s, but I’m sure many of you remember the ridiculous commercials featuring the obnoxious “Slim Jim Guy”. Upon taking a bite of the actual product, the Slim Jim Guy came to life inside the consumer’s stomachs, and would begin to wreak havoc. Not a far cry from what actually happens when you eat one. The Slim Jim Guy’s head is designed to look like the actual snack, a tall, cylindrical, stack of mystery meat, which is the precise look Iman Shumpert has with his high-top fade. If the extreme-snack craze ever comes back, Shump would be the perfect Slim Jim Guy.
13. Luis Suarez: Dental Hygiene Products
Luis Suarez is widely known as one of the best strikers in the world. Aside from that, he is known for biting his opponents on the field. He has been found to have bitten players on three occasions during play, the most famous incident coming against Italy in the 2014 World Cup. Suarez’ team, Uruguay, needed a win in order to advance. Mired in a 0-0 match in the 79th minute, Suarez collided with defender Giorgo Chiellini and took a bite out of his shoulder. Uruguay went on to win the game, but FIFA banned Suarez from nine international matches. Despite his ridiculous behavior, the guy has an efficient set of chompers that would sell some dental care products.
12. Anthony Davis: Tweezers
Anthony Davis, affectionately referred to as “The Brow” because of his world-class unibrow, fully embraces a physical trait many are ridiculed for. I guess it’s easier to pull of the look when you’re one of the most dominant players in your sport. Davis has even gone as far as to trademark the phrases “Fear the Brow” and “Raise the Brow”. Although he’s on record stating he will never get rid of it, there is no doubt he could fetch a hefty sum from a cosmetics company if he were to endorse a pair of tweezers to tidy up that hairy caterpillar he sports.
11. Lebron James: Rogaine
This is a bit of a reach, as Lebron has somewhat corrected his receding hairline recently, but we’re still going to pick on him anyway. Since his arrival to the NBA in 2003, we have watched James become one of the best NBA players of all time. In that same time span we’ve seen his signature headband move further and further up his forehead, seemingly in an attempt to hide it from the masses. Lebron hasn’t come out and endorsed whatever product or surgery he had performed, but given the fact he’s one of the most followed personalities in the world, he could fetch a king’s ransom if he backed a hair restoration product like Rogaine.
10. Michael Phelps: Medicinal Marijuana Dispensaries
Physically strenuous activities and marijuana are not usually involved in the same sentence, which is why it was so shocking when Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic Athlete of all time, was photographed taking a bong rip. The world seems to be a much more lenient place when it comes to recreational pot smoking, and Phelps’ reputation wasn’t effected much following his public apology. Regardless, the medicinal marijuana field would get a huge boost in sales if it were backed by a highly successful athlete such as Phelps.
9. Rob Gronkowski: Any alcoholic beverage
On the field, Rob Gronkowski is a big play threat on every offensive possession. At 6-foot-6 with good hands and the ability to run a 4.68 40-yard dash, he is an NFL coach’s dream, or nightmare depending on which side of the ball you’re on. Off the field, he is known strictly as Gronk; the lumbering, hulkish man with no shame who loves to party. Whether it’s spiking a bouquet of flowers, cracking open a beer with his teeth and chugging, or displaying his poor but soulful dance moves onstage at rap shows, Gronk portrays the courage only a man several drinks deep could muster.
8. Bubba Watson: BMW
BMW’s famous slogan, “The Ultimate Driving Machine”, would be a perfect fit for Bubba Watson. In addition to being one of the best golfers on the planet, Bubba is renowned for his ability to drive the ball incredible distances, earning five no.1 Driving Distance rankings in the past nine years, and not once dropping below 5th in distance during that time span. He is, without a doubt, The Ultimate Driving Machine.
7. Adam “Pacman” Jones: Bail Bonds
If you are not familiar with Pacman, he’s a return specialist for the Cincinnati Bengals. On the field he is a dynamic talent, tied for 13th all-time in punt return touchdowns. However, off the field he is a complete train wreck. Pacman has been arrested on eight occasions for public intoxication, felony vandalism, assault, disorderly conduct, and drug possession. The fact he is still on an NFL team today shows just how talented his is at his craft. What better face for a bail bonds company can you find than Pacman?
6. Tiger Woods: Trojan
Prior to November 2009, Tiger was unstoppable on the golf course winning an astounding 14 Major Championships since 1997, and he was sought after by every brand on the market to endorse their product(s). Tiger was well spoken, intelligent, and truly brought professional golf into the spotlight for the first time in decades, which made it even more shocking when a report surfaced that he was involved in an extramarital affair. As the details began to unfold, Tiger Woods admitted to being involved with over 120(!) different women while married to his then-wife, Elin Nordegren. Tiger was pulled from many of his endorsement deals, but this particular scandal would have made him the perfect candidate for Trojan brand condoms.
5. Bill Belichick: Champion Hoodies
We’ll make an exception under the athlete category here, because the match is too perfect. Bill Belichick is a coaching genius, currently fifth in all-time wins as a coach, and has six Super Bowl rings. He is also notorious for sporting hoodie sweatshirts at all times. Can you remember a time where Belichick wasn’t wearing a hoodie? Yeah, me neither. I really want to believe at one point or another, friends and family of The Hood have tried to sit him down for an intervention about his chronic hoodie use, and with every statement Belichick answers with the same dry, matter-of-fact responses he gives in press conferences.
4. Tim Duncan: Energizer Batteries
Death, Taxes, and the San Antonio Spurs; a phrase often used to describe the consistent greatness of the Spurs for the majority of the past two decades. Much of that success can be attributed to Tim Duncan. The most impressive feat is that Duncan isn’t just a warm body out there, but the fact he is putting up numbers worthy of being a perennial All-Star selection at his advanced age. With 18 seasons and counting, 5 Championships, and 15 All-Star appearances, Duncan is the perfect example of the Energizer slogan: “It keeps on going, and going, and going…”
3. James Harden: Beard Cream
As a man who struggles to grow adequate facial hair, I’m envious of James Harden’s beard. Harden has stated that he wouldn’t shave it off for $1 million, but he would consider parting ways with it for $10 million. If you’ve ever watched Harden play, you know he’s one of the best in the league at drawing fouls, leading the league with 10.22 free throw attempts in the 2014-2015 season. When he drives to the basket, he does this bizarre head-snap which the beard helps accentuate the motion. While it’s purely speculative, it’s hard to not notice his beard during the process, potentially giving the referees more of a reason to assume contact from his defender(s). Regardless, with the way beards seem to be celebrated these days, Harden would be a great promoter of beard-care products.
2. Derrick Rose: Rice Krispies
This doesn’t have as much to do with the product, as it does with their catchphrase, “Snap, Crackle, Pop”. When Rose first broke onto the NBA scene in 2009, he was a revelation, winning the Rookie of the Year award, made three straight All-Star teams from 2010-2012, and even won League MVP in 2011, making him the youngest player in NBA history to take home the award. Since that time, the only thing synonymous with Derrick Rose’s name is injury. He’s torn his ACL in his left knee, torn his meniscus in his right knee (twice), sprained both ankles multiple times, and has missed time with hamstring issues.
There is no other phrase to represent how brittle Rose has been over the past several years than “Snap, Crackle, Pop.” Nobody likes when a player gets serious injured, and no matter what team you root for, everyone wants to see great players play, and Rose is such an explosive talent, we all hope he comes back strong for the 2015-16 season.
1. Tom Brady: Spalding “Never Flat” Footballs
Tom Terrific made, and is still making headlines from a scandal that arose in the 2014-15 NFL season, where referees found the PSI of the balls the Patriots were using to be under the minimum set forth by the NFL. It would never happen in a million years, but it would be pure comedic gold if Brady went on to promote Spalding’s line of Never Flats. “Hi, I’m four-time Super Bowl champion quarterback Tom Brady. One of the keys to quarterback success is finding the right ball for you. Whether you like round balls, flat balls, or old balls, the Spalding “Never Flats” will ensure your desired pressure stays constant throughout the game.”
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