They Are More Than Professional Athletes

Greg MaiolaSenior Analyst IIFebruary 22, 2012

They Are More Than Professional Athletes

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    Think your favorite athletes can only compete on their respective playing fields? Think again—athletes also have a role in pop culture. They earn their way into the hearts of sports fans and everyday people.

    This slideshow lists athletes and their other special talents. Why not? Athletes have lives outside of their respective sports, too. There is no particular order, just the 10 athletes best known for their roles outside of sports.

    Professional athletes have game in pop culture. Here we go.

Arnold Palmer

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    Arnold Palmer was a very successful golfer back in the day.

    Ask today's youth if the name sounds familiar, you bet it does. He is well known for his delicious beverage. He combined iced tea and lemonade in such a refreshing way that kids can't get their hands off the sugary drink.

    Palmer was a great golfer and has a great beverage bearing his name.

Lance Armstrong

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    One of the greatest cyclists of all time, Lance Armstrong overcame cancer to dominate the world in his respective sport.

    Off of the bike, Armstrong's Livestrong company is very popular. With apparel by Nike and exercise equipment, Livestrong products have found their way around the country. Throw in his famous yellow wristbands that sell for $1, he is popular amongst all people.

    Oh yeah, and a portion of his sales are given to cancer foundations.

Hope Solo

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    The star goalkeeper for the United States Women's National Team, Hope Solo has also found success off of the field. She appeared on ABC's, "Dancing With the Stars", and has become a household name. She is a role model for young girls aspiring to play soccer and has boys drooling over her.

Michael Strahan

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    The once-feared pass-rusher has found success in television once he retired from the NFL.

    He is currently an NFL analyst on Fox and regularly appears in Subway commercials. He even had a short lived television show on Fox.

    Rather than sacking quarterbacks, Strahan has found his niche behind the cameras.

Bernie Williams

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    The former New York Yankees great is now enjoying a career as a musician.

    The Puerto Rican is a skilled guitar player who has landed a record deal and has gone on to tour the world.

    Right after the conclusion of his MLB career, Bernie Williams had no problem transitioning into the career of a musician. He has released two albums.

Michael Phelps

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    Perhaps the greatest swimmer of all time, Phelps has dominated in the pool.

    Out of the water, Phelps has appeared on numerous Subway commercials. Go on, tell me the cost of a foot-long.

    Phelps is basically the face of swimming in America and is a household name. Turn on your television, chances are you will see him in an advertisement or two.

    Phelps has shattered records in the pool and is very popular out of it.

Michael Jordan

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    Michael Jordan was an absolute monster on the basketball court. He was extremely talented and is likely the best player of all time.

    Off of the court, he has a partnership with Hanes and regularly appears in commercials for the company. He has his own line of clothes and shoes and even the jerseys of NCAA basketball teams bear his logo.

    Jordan is a gift from the basketball gods and he has found as much success through his clothes as his basketball career.

David Beckham

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    The former England captain and current star of the Galaxy, David Beckham is more than a soccer player. He is married to a Spice Girl, and his accent alone has girls going crazy.

    He endorses Adidas shoes and clothing and recently started his own underwear line with H&M. He has been seen at Los Angeles Lakers games with his sons and is treated like a celebrity, not a soccer star.

    To men, he is one of the greatest soccer players. To women, he is a good looking guy with a good looking wife who are often seen in clothing advertisements.

Peyton Manning

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    The four-time NFL MVP has thrived on the football field. Off of the turf, Peyton Manning is an advertising machine.

    He has appeared in commercials for Gatorade, Reebok, Sprint and DirecTV. He has starred on Saturday Night Live, has voiced in a Simpsons episode and appeared in ESPN commercials. He has been voted favorite athlete by the Kid's Choice Awards and has a hospital named after him.He donates lots of time and money to the less fortunate.

    He is a household name and when he resumes play in 2012, he should appear in many more advertisements.

Tiger Woods

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    The once-proud golfer has struggled on the course lately. However, he is still a famous icon around the world. For one, his whole cheating scandal shocked the entire world. He lost his "role model" title and lost a lot of fans in the process.

    Throw that aside, Woods has made millions of dollars outside of the game of golf. He has a video game by EA Sports named after him and currently endorses companies like Rolex, Nike, NetJets and Upper Deck.

    He lost a lot of sponsors due to his scandal but gained lots of global publicity from it.

Honorable Mention

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    While these athletes contribute to society in ways other than sports, there was no room for them on the list. Honorable mentions go to:

    1. Aaron Rodgers

    2. LeBron James

    3. Derek Jeter

    4. Sidney Crosby

    5. Kobe Bryant