Luck Of The Draw: New Colts QB Likely To Be In Demand Within Corporate America
Sports marketers believe Colts QB and No. 1 overall NFL Draft pick Andrew Luck’s “awe-schuks persona will be as much a hit with corporate interests as with Hoosiers,” according to Anthony Schoettle of the INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL. Luck already has deals with Nike and Panini America, and his corporate sponsorship deals “could triple his salary.” Marketing experts said that if Luck “is as good as NFL scouts think, his marketability could quickly match” that of former Colts QB and current Broncos QB Peyton Manning. Sports Business Group President David Carter said, “He appears to be marketer’s dream.” Luck’s opportunities “to cash in will be plentiful,” as marketers “expect him to follow Manning’s game plan and remain hyper-selective in whom he partners with.” Luck’s representatives at WMG said that interest in their client is building, but “no commercial or philanthropic deals are ready to be announced.” WMG VP/Corporate Communications & Marketing Stephanie Rudnick said that Luck “has had past involvement with Habitat for Humanity and Boys and Girls Club charities, and he could get involved with branches of those organizations” in Indianapolis. Colts Owner Jim Irsay said that despite Luck’s rising star, the team is "in no hurry to make Luck their poster child” and that he will “not be featured on one of the massive murals hanging from Lucas Oil Stadium” (INDIANAPOLIS BUSINESS JOURNAL, 5/7 issue).
LUCK GROUNDED: CBSSPORTS.com's Mike Freeman noted because NFL rookies are prohibited from attending workouts at the team facility other than rookie minicamp until they complete the college semester, Irsay offered Luck use of his private jet and helicopter so he “could work in different parts of the country with Colts players.” However, that is “against league rules.” The league “prohibits those types of things because they could lead to salary cap abuses.” Unless Irsay “wants a call from the NFL (and a potential fine) he had better allow Luck to go commercial” (CBSSPORTS.com, 5/7).