Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Oh, Peyton

Athlete endorsement deals are incredibly lucrative. Anyone who's achieved a high level of success has a few endorsement deals in the pipeline, and the most marketable stars even have shoes named after them. (Which, I am not knocking, because I am a huge fan of the LeBron IV's). Celebrity spokespeople can be fantastic PR weapons. Highly marketable athletes are a logical place to turn, as they are recognizable and respected.

Take Peyton Manning, for example. Even before winning the Super Bowl, Manning's marketability was shining. Now, everyone wants a piece of the Peyton pie. Currently, he represents MasterCard, Gatorade, ESPN, DirecTV, Sprint, Reebok and others.

Much of Peyton's appeal is that he is both successful and relatable. He still has that "All-American boy" sense about him, and in spite of his fantastic success, he appears as down-to-earth as they come.

However, as tempting as it may seem to pursue an endorsement deal with Peyton, companies should stop to think again. Yes, Peyton represents everything you want in an athlete spokesperson. HOWEVER, everyone else is the world thinks so too, and you can't help but think that the return on investment on a Peyton Manning deal may not be what it used to be.

The reason for this is simple: over saturation. Anyone who watches television has probably seen many of Peyton's ads. The problem is that it's hard to differentiate WHOM he is representing in each one. Many of the commercials are hilarious. (Like this). Yet, the point of marketing is to increase sales, and at this point, you have to wonder if signing an endorsement dead with Peyton Manning will do that.

Yes, he's likeable and appealing. But he represents so many products and companies that no one really knows (or cares) whom he's speaking on behalf of anymore.

Aspiring marketers, it's time to think outside of the (Peyton) box.

In case you've forgotten, here's a couple of Peyton's most talked-about ads: