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.

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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.

Brady has been seen as a "soft" player for years and his UGGs commercials and photos have done nothing to help the image, but ultimately, it's doubtful he cares, because as we said, he has Super Bowl wins, millions of dollars, and a supermodel wife. UGGs or not, he's living the dream.

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.

This one is just awkward nonsense, but entertaining at the same time.

13 Ray Lewis: The Ray Lewis Snuggie

via deadspin.com

Ray Lewis was one of the more intimidating linebackers in the NFL for years. Two Super Bowl wins, over 1,300 tackles, dozens of interceptions and sacks, and he's advertising a Snuggie? The man who used to shred through offensive linemen and drop running backs, sporting an innocent smile while wrapped up in a cozy blanket. That one hurts the brain a bit. Even the mighty like to have warm arms while reading I suppose...

12 Serena Williams: Tampax

via mardonink.com

This one is just a tad shocking, but overall, it's really funny. To be clear, it is likely shocking to those who are made uncomfortable by natural bodily functions or those without a sense of humor. Serena Williams and a little lady with a high pitched voice square off in a press conference and on the tennis court, with plenty of "period" jokes. It's funny but it definitely offended some people.

11 Akinori Otsuka: Corky's Pest Control

If this came out today, it would likely "break the internet," whatever that means. Otsuka played just four years in MLB, playing two years with the San Diego Padres and two with the Texas Rangers. In this awesome but ridiculous ad, Otsuka sits down for a nice picnic meal, only to spot a legion of ants going after his food. He swats at the table with a bat, destroying all the food, before the pest control people come to the rescue and then sing an explosively awkward song.

10 Carson Palmer: Hot Dogs

via grayflannelsuit.net

If you don't see it then you simply aren't "thinking" enough. From the picture on the screen to the obvious euphemism and innuendo of the words, there are enough reasons to chuckle. It's very possible that John Morrell (the company) makes great hot dogs, but anyone who has seen this ad probably can't eat one without cracking a smile. Even Palmer's face adds to the comedy.

9 Charles Barkley: Weight Watchers

Once you see Charles Barkley with long curls and a black dress, you can't unsee it. We apologize for that, but once you get past it, the content of the commercial is painfully funny. The content of the commercial isn't bad either,as he attacks the fact that Weight Watchers was (may still be) seen as a company for women, but his message is: fitness and a healthy diet is for everybody.

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.

In what can only be described sarcastically as an anomaly, the pro-choicers and feminists blew gaskets at the Christian group. Did they need to? Not for us to say, but my goodness, what a shocking thing to put in an ad!

7 Neymar Jr: Underwear

This one might make a bit of sense, we're not really sure. Women walk into the clothing store, and after a brief interaction with the clerk, Neymar hops out and does an awkward dance. A man walks in, and Neymar quietly sneaks out of the store. The commercial has been criticized for seeming homophobic, therefore making it shocking. Let's move on to something significantly funnier.

6 Ben Johnson: Cheetah Energy Drink

For those who may not be aware, or were born more recently than 1988, Ben Johnson was a Canadian sprinter who won the gold medal back in 1988, but lost it after he failed a drug test. He was stripped of his medal and the record he set. About eight years ago, he became the spokesman for Cheetah, an energy drink. Rumor has it that while he was shooting the commercials for the product, he did not understand the joke. While it is difficult to prove, if he did not understand the irony of his words...it may be necessary to compare his intelligence to that of a bag of hammers.

5 Ronaldinho: "Sex Free" Condoms

via Facebook.com

This type of endorsement seems seems odd as a condom doesn't seem (to a number of people anyway) as the type of product that needs a celebrity for representation. It seems like more of a "hey, if you don't want to pay for a howling poop factory that may grow up to hate you, use us!" type of product. Maybe that's just us. His involvement with this company stemmed from his participation in an effort to spread awareness of HIV/AIDS and prevention techniques.

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."

But in all seriousness, back to business, he did a Viagra ad and nobody should make jokes, most of us will need it one day.

3 Jimmy Johnson: Extenze

Jimmy Johnson talking about male enhancement makes jokes almost as easy as the Palmeiro/Viagra ad. There was a Family Guy gag a few years ago in which Peter commented that in the name Peter O'toole, both the first and last name are slang for the male organ. The same can be said of Jimmy Johnson, and that makes this ad both hilarious, ridiculous, and just a bit shocking. The question really is however: did Johnson and Palmeiro use these products or did they just say they did because somebody in a suit offered them a wheelbarrow full of money?

2 Joe Namath: Pantyhose

They don't call him Broadway Joe for nothing! His commercial for Beautymist pantyhose is as funny as it is shocking. But credit must be given where credit is earned. Namath and the advertisers got their point across. Imagine, however, if you were in his shoes. You had won a Super Bowl, were one of the most popular players in the game, and were offered money to put on women's clothes. What's the worst other people will do, shout hurtful names?

1 University of Kent: Adult Entertainment Site

via en.wikipedia.org

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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