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The 10 Most Commercialized Sports Personalities

Danny FlynnSenior Analyst IAugust 28, 2010

The 10 Most Commercialized Sports Personalities

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    At the end of the day, sports is a business more than anything else. Athletes and sports personalities realize that there is a lot money to be made out there. They know that if they can properly sell themselves to the American public, they can really earn a pretty penny.

    Some athletes rely on humor to make a great commercial, while others rely on their skills.

    No matter what their style is, here are the ten sports figures that love the art of the sale.

1. The Mannings

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    There was a time not too long ago, where the pace of Peyton Manning commercials was about one every six and a half minutes. If you decided to play the Peyton Manning commercial drinking game on a random Saturday, you’d probably be dead by noon.

    As if one Manning wasn’t enough, the American public was treated to a second helping in the form of Peyton’s brother - Giants QB Eli Manning.

    Archie, where would the world of sports advertising be without you?

2. Tiger Woods

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    Before that little “incident” - Tiger Woods was a promotional powerhouse.

    He was far and away the highest paid athlete in the world, with multimillion dollar deals in place with various companies.

    Some of those companies dropped him like a bad habit when the publicity poop hit the fan. For every mistress that popped up, it seemed like another endorsement deal fell by the wayside.

    Woods still gets to wear that little check mark though, and that’s all that really counts.

3. Charles Barkley

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    Dear Charles,

    I don’t care who's “five” your in. I never have and I never will.

4. Jimmy Johnson

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    Have you ever been up late in a hotel room late at night and stumbled upon a Jimmy Johnson “stock tips” infomercial?

    Well I have, and I must say it was one of the most riveting and entertaining half hours of my life. To define the company Jimmy was promoting as a “pure ripoff” would probably be an insult to the word ripoff.

    It’s sad that this man, once the leader of the wildest teams in college and professional football, has now been reduced to trying to scam people out of a couple dollars with phony stock tips.

5. LeBron James

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    LeBron has so far has failed to become the next Michael Jordan on the court, but that hasn’t stopped him from trying to become the next MJ of the advertising universe.

    The two big VITAMINWATER refrigerators sitting in the background during “The Decision” were a nice touch.

6. Jeff Gordon

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    Now it’s unfair to single out any one NASCAR driver as being the biggest shill because every single one of them would sell their soul to the highest paying spark plug or potato chip company. But the king of the castle over the years has been the rainbow warrior, Jeff Gordon.

    Gordon has used his very non threatening personality to really rack up the endorsement bucks over his career.

    No matter how you feel about the racer, you have to respect his hustle.

7. Shaq

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    The Shaqtus has worn many hats in his life - actor, rapper, basketball player - the list goes on and on.

    One hat Shaq has worn well throughout his career has been his “pitchman” hat. Shaq’s larger than life yet goofy persona has been true advertising gold.

    Kazaam’s commercials are usually humorous, irreverent, and memorable.

8. Derek Jeter

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    Even though he’s been annually tagged as the most overrated player by his baseball peers , it’s really no sweat off Derek Jeter’s back. I have a feeling he’s not too worried.

    He’s the king of New York, and with that comes a lot of perks. Money, models, and success seems to be all Mr. Jeter has ever known during his time as a Yankee.

    Number two is number one in the hearts of all Yankee fans. And once you endear yourself to that fan base, the biggest in all of professional sports, it’s basically a license to print money.

9. Joe Buck

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    The plague of Joe Buck knows no bounds.

    If you’re looking for a reprieve from the Buckster’s dry humor during the commercial breaks of a game. Think again!

    He’s everywhere, you can’t escape his “wittiness” no matter how hard you try.

10. Maria Sharapova

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    In the world of marketing, being easy on the eyes never hurts.

    If your a sexy athlete, you don’t necessarily have to be good at your sport to be good at selling goods. Just ask Danica Patrick.

    Luckily for Maria Sharapova, she’s a quality combination. Her Australian Open, U.S. Open, and Wimbledon titles all show that she can win on the court. Plus when she’s away from Tennis, her model good looks make her a very desirable spokesperson.

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