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Peyton Manning:

The NFL's

Anna Kournikova?

8/14/2006 4:17 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Even if you don't care a lick about football, that face to the left there is probably pretty familiar to you. That's because Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts' quarterback, has been everywhere, starring in TV spots for no less than five different companies, including popular spots for Gatorade, DirecTV, and MasterCard.

And starting this fall, Manning's going to be even more exposed, featuring prominently in high-profile ad campaigns for Reebok and Sony, the latter alongside golf prodigy Michelle Wie. In 2005, Manning landed $10.5 million in endorsements according to Sports Illustrated, amongst the highest of any athlete. And his agent's recent defection to powerhouse Creative Artists Agency suggests that more showbiz is in the offing for the NFL's golden boy.

But, like tennis' Anna Kournikova before him, Manning's a superstar pitchman who hasn't actually won anything on the field, from high school to college to the pros. To be fair, Manning, at 30, already holds several NFL passing records, and he nearly led his team to an undefeated season last year, a level of success Kournikova never came close to achieving.

And yet, how is it that Peyton, without Tiger Woods' titles or Anna K's, er, talents, has become the face of just about everything?

Chalk it up to something utterly basic: likeability. "He's the nicest guy in the world and everybody loves him," said Terry Lefton, editor-at-large of Sports Business Daily & Journal, recently. Even though Manning has yet to shake the reputation that he can't win the big game, leading sports marketing consultants explain that he's already too credible and trusted to lose his Madison Avenue luster.

Reebok, for instance, is putting what it has called "a very significant investment" into the new TV campaign called "When Did I Know," debuting in September during the NFL's opening weekend, and starring Manning. And the company certainly doesn't lack confidence that Manning can sell their shoes and equipment."Peyton is as important to us as any asset we have at Reebok," said Eddie White, vice president of team properties, in the Indianapolis Star. "It's safe to say he'll be with Reebok as long as he plays football." For more sports stories, check out tmzsports.com!

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joyce lee    

I'm from Tennessee, right down the road from UT. Peyton is a household name in our area. There are more babies named Peyton than you can imagine. Also Eli, after his brother.
Peyton is a down to earth, sincere person. He supports Knoxville and UT and Saint Mary's Hospital all the way. He has never pretended just for the media. He is a honest, sincere person and very down to earth.
He just gave UT's athlete dept 1 million dollars. Peyton Manning Stadium? Why not???

2928 days ago

Team Minnillo    

To Tim who said that Tom and Peyton are pretty boy media a**holes...Tom is the pretty one, Petyon is just non-descript...obviously are you not aware that Tom Brady won WITH HIS TEAM 3 Superbowls since he became first string quarterback???? I agree w/ everyone that it's the ingredients of the TEAM that come together, that make the difference; Peyton is a good quarterback, but he is still no Tom Brady, straight up. GO PATS!!!

2928 days ago

Lori Anderson    

Peyton Manning may be the best quarterback to ever play the game. No one runs an offensive line like he does. It is just fun to watch him do what he does best. He is a true champion regardless of the lack of "rings". He will win the big one before he is finished with football, it is his destiny.

2928 days ago

Alex Rogers    

Fact - Peyton is a great quarterback. He is not a champion. To be a champion you have to win the championship game. Doesnt matter if they lost in the last second on the 1 yard line tripping over a piece of grass. Didnt win. Tom Brady has won 3 times.

Opinion - If I was a general manager picking a team I would take Brady over Peyton. I "feel" (opinion) that winning (especialy the big games)is an intangible and either youve got it or you dont.

Why is Peyton getting all the endorsements ? Fucked if I know, or care. I drink gatorade for hangovers, and the athlete that sells it doesnt affect my purchase.

2927 days ago


Hey Minillo, Your Pats Suck! haha
Your "dynasty" is over, face it and move on. Oh yeah and your Sox suck too.

2927 days ago


What is the difference between Eli manning and Ryan Leaf?

The only difference is their jersey numbers, both suck, BAD!

2894 days ago


Well, for starters I believe Peyton Manning is the greatest QB in the league now. I love to watch him play the Defense and how he can call out any play. If you watch Mr. Tom Brady play he has the plays out on his arms, Do you see Peyton with that?? Didnt think so! Keep up the great work Peyton and I love watching the Colts Win!!!!

2876 days ago
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