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Super Bowl quarterbacks rivals on field and off

Advertisers are looking at two players who cover the marketing spectrum — from Tom Brady's savvy, downtown good looks to Eli Manning's quiet, boy-next-door charm.
Image: Eli Manning and Tom Brady
A Super Bowl win could also mean multi-million-dollar endorsement contracts for the Giant’s Eli Manning, left, and the Patriot’s Tom Brady, shown here after the Patriots defeated the Giants Dec. 29 at Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.Jim McIsaac / Getty Images file
/ Source: The Associated Press

Super Bowl advertising opportunities don't end when the game does, particularly for the star quarterbacks facing off Sunday.

A Super Bowl win means a chance at added multimillion-dollar endorsement contracts. And advertisers are looking at two players who cover the marketing spectrum — from Tom Brady's savvy, downtown good looks to Eli Manning's quiet, boy-next-door charm.

"The combination of performance, personality and purity, both of these guys have that," said Bob Dorfman, executive creative director at the San Francisco advertising firm Baker Street Partners. "It's just kind of a question now of who can win the ring and have the staying power."

But it is an uneven matchup going into the game.

The Patriots are favored on and off the field. They have a superstar quarterback with sex appeal who courts supermodels and actresses. Brady already has contracts with Nike, Movado and Glaceau Smart Water. He's even appeared in Gap ads.

Sports Illustrated estimates Brady pulled in $9 million in endorsements in 2007.

Eli Manning by contrast, is quiet, and engaged to his college sweetheart. He has appeared in commercials for ESPN and Oreos — but primarily with his family. He has yet to hit the marketing spotlight on his own, lingering instead in the shadow of his brother, Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning, and his father, former NFL quarterback Archie Manning.

Estimates put the value of Eli Manning's endorsement deals around $5 million.

"It's (the Super Bowl) much bigger for Eli Manning than for Tom Brady," said David Carter, professor of sports business at the University of Southern California.

The Davie Brown index, created by Dallas-based Davie Brown Talent and used by marketers to measure the consumer influence of stars and athletes on consumers, shows a gap as well.

Overall, Brady is on par with celebrities like actors Jude Law or Don Cheadle, with a score of 55.6. He scores high in terms of consumer appeal — putting him in the ranks of actress Nicole Kidman or TV weatherman Al Roker.

By contrast, Manning scores overall at 48 — in the same neighborhood as comedian Stephen Colbert or Jon Heder, the star of "Napoleon Dynamite." But he is highly ranked in the trust category, put in the same neighborhood as TV host Regis Philbin and actors Ben Stiller and Steve Carell.

To give some perspective, a top athlete endorser like Tiger Woods would come in at 90 and Manning's marketing friendly brother Peyton (who has a reported $13 million worth of endorsement deals) gets a score of nearly 62.

But sports marketing experts say this could be Eli Manning's breakout if he pulls off a Super Bowl win or establishes a style and panache of his own.

The potential endorsement line-ups would be different, experts say.

Brady's got the sex appeal that makes him an easy pick for high-fashion or style-oriented products like clothing or cologne. But experts say Manning has more appeal to younger crowds and everyman products like cell phones, video games and the like.

Experts say Manning could capitalize on his family's squeaky-clean image if the public doesn't have Manning fatigue. But clean-cut is a safe bet these days; no one wants another Michael Vick, the football player sentenced in December to 23 months in federal prison on dogfighting charges.

Manning may choose not to seek out the opportunities. When asked by The Associated Press what he would endorse if he could endorse anything, Manning replied: "I'm the spokesman for the New York Giants."

Brady, on the other hand, already has his choice of many deals and given his regular appearances in celebrity news and tabloids, risks overexposure.

But experts say the sight of Brady hoisting a trophy amid the confetti and crowds could prove a powerful one that may sway Brady's endorsement decisions and not smack of overexposure.

Regardless of their choices, the Super Bowl will be a key day of exposure for both players.

"It's pretty significant because there are 90 million people watching and it's a lot of non-football fans," Dorford said. "It's a lot of people who wouldn't normally watch these guys."