Athletes are some of the most iconic people on the planet. Individuals can boast millions of followers on social media, and for organizations such as sports brands or companies, that may carry a lot of weight with their marketing.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at the top five athlete endorsements of all time as well as checking out the NFL week 4 odds and other sportsbook tips and advice.
Let’s get right into the top five endorsements.
1. David Beckham and Adidas
David Beckham is an icon of the soccer world. The former Manchester United captain was well-known for his ability to bend a ball. It was that coveted skill that took him to Real Madrid before he wound down his career playing for LA Galaxy.
Alongside his soccer career, Beckham has had a number of deals with leading brands, mainly in the fashion industry.
But in 2003, he signed a deal worth a huge $160m with Adidas. It was said to have been a lifetime deal and included scope for him to have his own branded equipment.
To date, this has been one of the biggest athlete endorsements ever.
2. Tiger Woods and Nike
The sports brands wage a fierce war against each other for business, and the endorsements of sports stars seem to be one of their biggest marketing investments.
Nike Golf allegedly pays Tiger Woods around $20m a year for him to endorse their brand. The agreement has been in place for some time, so much so that he’s become almost synonymous with the Nike logo.
Woods hasn’t been without his scandals, yet his likeability and brand power don’t seem to have waned and he remains a top athlete endorser.
3. Rory McIlroy and Nike
We’ve seen big money paid out to Tiger Woods by Nike, but here’s another example of just how committed they are. Back in 2013, Irishman Rory McIlroy rose to prominence as one of the best pro golfers in the game. He won the 2011 US Open and the 2012 PGA Championship to propel himself to the top.
That prompted Nike to make its move. At the age of 24, he signed a 10-year deal worth a reported $250m.
That deal is nearly up for renewal, and it will be interesting to see if Nike makes a similar offer again.
4. The George Foreman Grill
A lot of people have heard of the George Foreman Grill. It’s a “lean, mean grilling machine” that’s said to be a healthier way of frying food.
While nowadays people may recognize George Foreman for his grills, he’s better known, particularly in the world of boxing, as the former heavyweight champion of the world and an Olympic gold medalist.
He had a meteoric rise to the top, turning pro in 1969 and earning a shot at the title in 1973 against the then-champion Joe Frazier. Foreman managed a stunning second-round knockout to claim the title.
It was a title he successfully defended twice until he fought Muhammad Ali in the incredible Rumble in the Jungle bout in Zaire in 1974.
Though he retired in 1977, he made a surprise comeback in 1994 at the age of 45. Against all odds, he won the unified WBA, IBF and lineal heavyweight championship titles.
Alongside boxing, Foreman invested his energies into business and signed a deal with Salton, Inc. to promote their new grill. He’s reportedly earned $200m from the deal so far.
5. Michael Jordan and Nike
When discussing iconic sports stars, it’s almost impossible not to mention Michael Jordan. The best NBA player of all time featured in movies, such as Space Jam, and most notably of all, signed a huge deal with Nike.
It’s reported that Nike pays Jordan around $80m a year. They’ve even given him his own subdivision known as the Jordan Brand, which makes everything from caps to shoes.
It’s unsurprising that Nike has committed so much. Jordan is a six-time NBA champion as well as a six-time MVP. He’s been picked for 14 NBA All-Star teams and is widely regarded as not just the greatest ever basketball player, but one of the world’s best athletes.
Jordan didn’t just play professionally in the NBA. At one point he retired and turned pro in Major League Baseball (MLB). After a short time playing baseball, he returned to the NBA and reminded everyone just how good he was.