Top 15 Shocking Sponsors and Endorsements in Sports

Saturday's UFC event, UFC 182, featured one of the most anticipated fights in recent memory, as Daniel Cormier finally got his shot at Jon Jones. Everybody and their mother predicted exactly what would happen, as Bones came through handily, winning via unanimous decision. The fight wasn't spectacular (nowhere near Jones vs Alexander Gustafsson) but it was better than not watching a UFC event.

The last fight before Jones and Cormier was a Lightweight scrap between Donald Cerrone and Myles Jury. This was a fairly entertaining fight as well, as these are two solid fighters and they both put on a show. Cerrone dominated most of the fight and won, handing The Ultimate Fighter 15 contestant his first professional loss. Fighting aside, there is something interesting to note about Myles Jury, he has an interesting sponsor. Alongside with the standard clothing companies and supplements, Jury is sponsored by The Rich Dad Company.

For those who are unfamiliar, The Rich Dad Company is a financial education company started by Robert Kiyosaki, an American financial advice writer, partially named for his first book "Rich Dad Poor Dad." While Kiyosaki and his company do experience their fair share of criticism, his writing presents insightful advice on issues such as personal finance, investing, and entrepreneurship. Jury is a student of the company and claims to have learned a great deal about finance from reading such books. This sponsorship and his endorsement of Kiyosaki's advice and company are an interesting departure from more conventional sponsors and endorsements in the athletic world. In short, it isn't a food, drug, or clothing company. It's a financial company that helps people achieve financial success and freedom (or at least it tries to).

Jury's sponsorship is shocking because, to be honest, who would have predicted a cage fighter being sponsored by a company specializing in investments and finance? No matter what sport an athlete plays, aren't sponsorship and endorsement deals always for consumer items, and more honestly, CRAP? Maybe not, but in this article we will break down some of the most ridiculous, nonsensical, and shocking endorsement and sponsorship deals in sports history.

15 15. Tom Brady: Uggs

Tom Brady, the three time Super Bowl winning quarterback for the New England Patriots, is the spokesman for UGGs for Men. Tom Brady may be one of the most successful quarterbacks in the league, but among football fans (those who don't cheer for the Pats) he is hated and mocked widely. He has three Super Bowls, a supermodel wife (for whom he traded in an actress girlfriend), but plenty of people mock his magazine spreads and make "pretty boy" jokes at his expense. As the kids say, those haters might just need a lesson at the "jelly" school.

14 14. Mike Ditka, Dennis Rodman, Jim McMahon and William Perry: Silestone

Silestone is a kitchen and bathroom company specializing in quartz counter-tops. they hired several prominent Chicago athletes for their product back in the mid 2000's. Ditka, McMahon, and Perry each announce that they are "Diana Pearl," one type of surface used by the company. The end of the commercial features Dennis Rodman in a bathtub, scrubbing himself, looking into the camera and exclaiming the same thing.

13 13. Ray Lewis: The Ray Lewis Snuggie


12 12. Serena Williams: Tampax


11 11. Akinori Otsuka: Corky's Pest Control

10 10. Carson Palmer: Hot Dogs


9 9. Charles Barkley: Weight Watchers

8 8. Tim Tebow: Focus on the Family

Just watching this this ad, it really doesn't seem particularly controversial or even Pro-life, but Focus on the Family is a group dedicated to religion based conservatism with regard to social issues. One of their main issues is abortion. If you don't know the story, Tim Tebow's mother had some complications during her pregnancy, blah blah blah, doctors said abortion might be the answer blah blah blah, she gave birth to her miracle baby blah blah blah.

7 7. Neymar Jr: Underwear

6 6. Ben Johnson: Cheetah Energy Drink

5 5. Ronaldinho: "Sex Free" Condoms


4 4. Rafael Palmeiro: Viagra

Because he was a baseball player, Viagra jokes are all that much easier to make. "It looks like Rafael may have had to cork his bat."  Okay, now for another: "One night Palmeiro had a woman in his bed but didn't have a little blue pill, she called him the Louisville shrugger." Finally: "baseball great Rafael Palmeiro once lost his Viagra and until he got a new prescription, his doctor told him he would be stuck at third."

3 3. Jimmy Johnson: Extenze

2 2. Joe Namath: Pantyhose

1 1. University of Kent: Adult Entertainment Site


The University of Kent's football (soccer to North Americans, but football because it is a school in the U.K.) team, the Rutherford Raiders, originally put the name of a X-rated website on their jerseys as a joke. The site got wind of this and offered them a sponsorship. Unfortunately for the team, the school was not receptive to the new jerseys and banned them from participating if they wore them on campus or to games.

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Top 15 Shocking Sponsors and Endorsements in Sports