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Volume 24 No. 157
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Detroit Renaissance: Verlander, Stafford Seeing Sponsorship Opportunities Increase

The agents for Tigers P Justin Verlander and Lions QB Matthew Stafford said that prospective endorsement deals and corporate requests for their clients “are at an all-time high," as both players are enjoying a successful year on the playing field, according to Bill Shea of CRAIN’S DETROIT BUSINESS. Verlander, the odds-on favorite to win the AL Cy Young Award, “reached elite status this season, and one of the expected payoffs is lucrative endorsement deals locally and nationally.” Sponsorship measurement firm Joyce Julius VP/Research & Product Development Eric Wright said, “Looking back at San Francisco’s Brian Wilson and what he was able to do following his playoff performance last year might be a good indication of what Verlander could achieve, at least in the short term following some noteworthy successes.” Verlander is repped by SFX Baseball Group, and the agency has "new deals in the works and expect to announce one in [the] coming weeks.” The Tigers reaching the World Series “could help him reach the rarified air of elite endorsements.” Meanwhile, Stafford’s agent, IMG's Ira Stahlberger, said that corporations are seeking him out “for endorsements or appearances more in the past four weeks than any time" since being taken with the No. 1 pick in the '09 NFL Draft. Stahlberger noted Stafford has been "very measured" in the deals he has signed so far. However, Stahlberger adds, "We haven’t flat out turned them down. We’re going to wait and see. We’ll probably expand the roster of things we’ll support.” Sources said that Stafford “still has work to do before reaching Verlander’s level of fame -- and ability to command endorsements” (, 10/9). The endorsement deals for Verlander and Stafford are listed below. 

Phiten Nike
Reebok Power Balance
Rawlings Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan
2K Sports  
PLB Sports  
Tuff Toe  
Jim Waldron Pontiac Buick GMC