Super Bowl Heroes Rank High as Endorsers

Another Super Bowl Sunday will produce memorable plays and make players into stars. After the game, some of those stars will turn into successful commercial endorsers.

Nielsen Talent Analytics looked at 30 of the highest ranked NFL players by N-Score—which evaluated the endorsement potential of athletes, actors and celebrities—and found that more than half of them are retired.

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The highest score among retired players was registered by Joe Montana, who won four Super Bowls with the San Francisco 49ers. He earned an 81 score out of 100, the same score as Peyton Manning, who might be playing his last game on Sunday and stars in commercials for DirecTV, Nationwide Insurance, Papa John’s Pizza and other brands. (Manning and Montana appear together in a Papa John’s spot.)

Some of the other players with high N-cores were Michael Strahan, the Giants lineman turned talk show host on Live With Kelly and Michael; Dan Marino, the ex-Dolphins QB and Brett Favre, the former Packer.

People polled by Nielsen find these players have high awareness and are influential. They are also seen as being successful.

Different players also connect with different generations of consumers.

Joe Namath, who won Super Bowl III with the Jets, is now 72 years old but he has a cross-generational appeal. Nielsen says 44% of all of the respondents in its survey know of him and find him influential, and that score varies little between teenagers (46%) and Baby Boomers and beyond (43%). Men over the age of 55 are particularly likely to respect Namath, with 80% of those aware considering him successful.

“Life after the NFL takes a lot of players off the field and onto the screen, endorsing products and services that highly influence their fans’ buying decisions,” said Stephen Master, senior VP, sports at Nielsen. “We are seeing a trend over the past couple of years in which many of our corporate clients use analytical models that provide far more analytical rigor to the process of choosing a spokesperson and how it aligns with their brand than we ever have in the past.”

More detail about the Nielsen report can be found here.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.