SBD/February 4, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Rodgers, Polamalu Could Cash In On Madison Ave. With Super Performances

Rodgers is featured in this year's edition of the annual Super Bowl milk mustache ad
Packers QB Aaron Rodgers "stands to gain the most from a Super Bowl ring -- as much as $3M a year in new endorsement deals," according to Baker Street Advertising Exec VP & Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman in his pre-Super Bowl marketability report. With Patriots QB Tom Brady and Colts QB Peyton Manning "on the downside of their careers" and Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger "a marketing pariah," advertisers "looking for the next big product-pitching QB could score" with Rodgers, who is featured in the annual Super Bowl milk mustache ad opposite Steelers WR Hines Ward. Steelers S Troy Polamalu's "marketing resume is the most impressive of any player" in this year's Super Bowl, and it "could grow another $1-3M by winning his third ring." Polamalu "appeals to a wide demographic, and could pitch anything." Meanwhile, Dorfman believes Roethlisberger's "public rehab is proceeding nicely, and would enjoy a big boost if he leads the Steelers to another Super Bowl victory." The general public is "still disgusted with Roetlisberger's sleazy past behavior, and will never adore him as before." But as Lakers G Kobe Bryant and Eagles QB Michael Vick "have shown, marketing redemption can be achieved." It will "take some time, but if Ben continues to succeed on the gridiron and behave like a gentleman off, someone will use him in an ad" (THE DAILY).

RECOVERY MODE: The AP's David Crary noted Roethlisberger "has had a minimal presence in advertising since he was accused in March of sexually assaulting a 20-year-old college student -- the second time since 2008 that he faced assault allegations." Marketing experts indicated that his image "remains tarnished" nationally, and he "needs more time to rehabilitate it." Univ. of North Carolina Sports Communication Program Dir John Sweeney noted that Roethlisberger, even pre-scandal, was "never in Manning's league as a pitchman." He "won deals to represent a barbecue sauce, a Pittsburgh auto dealership and a beef jerky brand, although that company dropped him last year." He also "remains on the roster of athletes signed by Nike to wear its gear, although Nike confirmed it hasn't used him in recent advertisements." Sweeney: "When people talk about marketability with Ben, how far is he going to fall anyway? He's not a huge player in the huge sponsorship market, so there's not as much that's threatened." Former USOC CMO Rick Burton said Roethlisberger "may be more affordable, because he's in recovery mode, recovering his brand, his reputation." Burton: "Companies may look at him as a lot cheaper than if Peyton Manning was winning the Super Bowl" (AP, 2/3). 
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