Bob Dorfman’s Super Bowl XLVI Marketers’ Scouting Report

Big game. Big markets. Big QBs. Big rematch.

Super Bowl XLVI could X-ceed all others in ratings. But how will its star players rate with Madison Avenue? Which Giants and Patriots will land seven-figure endorsement deals, go to Disneyland, and show up on talk shows, Wheaties boxes and Dancing With The Stars?

Here’s how this expert rates the endorsement talent:


Tom Brady.  With $10M a year in current ad deals and a record-tying fourth Super Bowl ring in his sights, Brady is well-positioned to overtake Peyton Manning as the NFL’s richest endorser—but only if he’s willing to devote the time and energy that major marketers demand. He offers advertisers the complete package: winning talent, model-quality looks, an appealing personality, and a squeaky-clean record. A favorite to “Go to Disney World” and appear on Wheaties boxes and talk shows after the game, Brady has the bod for a Hanes briefs campaign, a perfect smile for a Tom’s Toothpaste deal, and a chin cleft worthy of a Gillette razor torture test. He could also be appealing in a Chiquita banana ad headlined “The Brady Bunch.” And as a California boy playing in frigid New England, Brady’s well-qualified to pitch any cold or flu remedy. He appeals to a broad demographic: kids idolize him, women want him, men want to be him. But Tom’s very particular about his marketing deals, and has turned down millions in endorsements to stay focused on football and family. If you really want Brady, bring a seven-figure check, a product he believes in, and a contract that doesn’t demand too much of his time.

Perfect teeth. Perfect smile. Perfect name.

Eli Manning.  With a second Super Bowl ring, Eli will permanently move out from under brother Peyton’s shadow, and could add as much as $3M to his current $7M in yearly endorsement earnings. He’ll also likely become the toast of Manhattan, sit down with Letterman and Fallon, go to Disney World, maybe even land a hosting spot on SNL. Though Eli may never match the on-camera charisma and acting chops of his big brother, he’s already proven his worth as a pitchman, particularly in regional New York area campaigns. Nationally, many of his deals (Oreo, DirecTV) have been alongside his brother, but Eli could easily stand alone—and appeal to a younger demographic—in ads for fast food, videogames or manning a smart phone. With Peyton’s playing future up in the air, the smart Manning marketing money is on Eli. But it might help if Eli develops his own signature TD move—something to compete with Aaron Rodgers’ Discount Double Check.


Chad Ochocinco.  The NFL leader in self-promotion, Chad may never play a down in Sunday’s game, yet may be more marketable than anyone but Brady and Manning. Social media king, reality show star, national product endorser, videogame cover boy—there’s little that Chad hasn’t accomplished. Except maybe winning a Super Bowl ring. At 33, his career in the NFL may be winding down, but it’s highly doubtful he’ll fade from the media spotlight. A future in broadcasting is highly likely. If you want him as a pitchman, be sure his personality doesn’t overshadow your product.

Mark Herzlich.  The Big Game’s biggest inspiration, Herzlich was an All-American at Boston College in 2008 before being diagnosed with bone cancer. He sat out a year, beat the cancer, won numerous awards for his courage and outreach, went undrafted in 2011, then made the Giants as a free agent. Herzlich will see little action on Sunday, but deserves major attention this week. Great story for a feel-good biopic, inspirational book, or ad campaign with a “never give up” message.


Rob Gronkowski.  His injured ankle is a major subject this week, as is his mid-season liaison with porn star Bibi Jones—which actually boosted his popularity. “Gronking” has become a term to describe how Rob ferociously spikes the football after a TD, and could become an ad device for disposing of an inferior product. Might be fun to see Rob “Gronking” a Timex watch to see if it really “takes a licking and keeps on ticking.” Gronkowski is a unique character; if he makes a difference on Sunday, national advertisers will take notice.

Justin Tuck.  Defensive linemen rarely land major ad deals, but Tuck is an exception, with a resume including Subway, Foot Locker, EA Sports, Nike, even a SoBe Lifewater spot that ran during Super Bowl XLVIII. He’s comfortable on camera, and can deliver a line pretty well. A strong game and another ring for Justin should keep his agent’s phone ringing.

Victor Cruz.  Might be the hottest Giant in the Big Apple right now, thanks to his big NFC Championship game and salsa dance TD celebration. Has turned down an offer to join the new season of Dancing With The Stars, which he ought to reconsider. His Puerto-Rican heritage makes him especially attractive to Hispanic marketers. If State Farm wants to spice up their Discount Double Check campaign, Victor has the victory dance to do it. 

Hakeem Nicks.  If you want to make your product look small and compact, put it in Hakeem’s huge hands. And Gillette should sign him for a razor demo, headlined “Hakeem No Nicks.”

Mario Manningham.  Manning to Manningham is an ideal play for Honeybaked.

Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks & Mario Manningham.  The Giants young receiving triumvirate should join forces, get a nickname (The Apple Corps? Glue Crew? Run NMC?) and market themselves to any maker of adhesives, or a seafood company promoting their fresh “catch.”

Jason Pierre-Paul.  Rising star, fan favorite, memorable name, amazing physical specimen. Could use more polish on camera, but as the Giants’ leader in sacks, he ought to star in a Hefty Cinch Sak ad.

Bill Belichick.  If you can get the dour Belichick to actually get visibly excited about your product on camera, it’s definitely worth a seven-figure deal. Or how about a commercial showing reporters popping No-Doz or downing shots of 5-Hour Energy during one of Belichick’s press conferences?

Aaron Hernandez.  Owns the best tats of all players in this Super Bowl. If there’s room, Aaron should consider adding a beer or car logo tattoo in a prominent spot, and start collecting some residuals.

Vince Wilfork.  The Pats’ only defensive starter left from Super Bowl XLII. Well-sized and named for any food product.

Mario Manningham, Jerod Mayo & Antrel Rolle.  A Subway sandwich waiting to happen: “Manningham & Mayo on a Rolle.

A Giant-sized sandwich

Osi Umenyiora.  Has been overshadowed by Jason Pierre-Paul this season, but still a marketable commodity. Unique British-Nigerian background, poised on camera, articulate, great voice. Could work for any product offering powerful performance: Black & Decker, Dodge “Ram tough” trucks, or tough actin’ Tinactin.

Ahmad Bradshaw.  Will need an MVP-level performance, or it’s nothing but local New York car dealer ads for Bradshaw.

Tom Coughlin.  Not a terribly compelling personality, but might fit well with Joe Torre, Terry Francona and Phil Simms in those quaint Bigelow Tea ads.

Chris Snee.  His father-in-law is coach Tom Coughlin. There’s got to be a funny ad in there somewhere.

Wes Welker.  Led the NFL in receptions. Put him in a NyQuil ad headlined “The only thing Wes Welker doesn’t like to catch is a cold.”

Brandon Jacobs.  A human bulldozer, and decent choice for a “Nothing runs like a Deere” ad

Julian Edelman.  Plays on offense, defense and special teams. Good choice for any product emphasizing versatility: trucks, SUVs, cough/cold/flu remedies, or baking soda.

Lawrence Tynes.  The first and only Scot to win a Super Bowl. Could kick up sales for Johnnie Walker, Scotch Tape, or his own line of NFL team-logoed kilts.

Devin Thomas.  A player whose charisma is bigger than his talent.  Best chance is to become Kim Kardashian’s new boyfriend.

Antrel Rolle.  A player whose mouth is bigger than his talent. Of possible interest to Listerine or Scope mouthwash.

Matt Light.  Pats’ OT excels at protecting his QB. Of possible interest to any product that protects well: Rust-o-leum, Axe deodorant, Norton Antivirus.

Steven Gostkowski.  A ring-winning kick in Indy could earn him ad deals for Tinactin, Dr. Scholl’s or any other foot-related product.

Patrick Chung.  Part Jamaican, part Chinese. Intriguing combination for a food truck franchise.

Logan Mankins.  Grew up on a cattle ranch. Of possible interest to any steakhouse chain.

Bear Pascoe.  See Logan Mankins.



Deion Branch.  MVP of Super Bowl XXXIX. Didn’t get major deals then. Won’t get them now.

Sterling Moore.  His end zone strip of Baltimore’s Lee Evans in the AFC Championship Game will be the highlight of his career.

Jacquian Williams.  His fumble-causing tackle on SF’s Kyle Williams in the NFC Championship Game will be the highlight of his career.

David Carr & Brian Hoyer.  Backup QBs for Manning and Brady see heavy bench time. Only shot is with Preparation H.

BenJarvus Green-Ellis.  Name’s too long.

James Ihedigbo.  Name’s too complicated.

James Brewer. Too bad NFL-ers can’t do beer ads.

Sergio Brown.  What can Brown do for you? Not much.

Prince Amukamana.  Wait until he becomes a king.

Da’rel Scott.  Missing something.

David Diehl.  No deal.

Danny Woodhead.  Would not.

Chris Canty.  Can’t.

Kevin Faulk.  Faulk, no.