NFL Players Don’t Only Star on the Field

John Dilley | Jan 31, 2014

Brands have used NFL players to star in their ads alongside their products for decades. In honor of the approach of Super Bowl Sunday, here are 10 great ads featuring NFL stars.

1. If Tom Brady Can’t Convince Men to Wear Uggs, Who Can?

Tom Brady Uggs

Uggs are popular women’s boot, so when they began trying to push boots for men, of course they had to find the right spokesman. Enter a rich, good looking, franchise quarterback. Tom Brady is sitting in a rustic setting, sporting his Uggs for men, looking dapper. While fans of the boots and the football star have mixed feelings about the campaign, other companies are using this to promote their own product and poke fun at the superstar.

2. Joe Cool’s Hot Cup of Joe

In 1988, the San Francisco 49ers star, Joe Montana, sat down on the bench to enjoy a nice cup of coffee for this ad. Sanka Coffee recognized Joe Montana’s smooth play on the field and decided he was the perfect symbol for their advertisement. “Joe Montana and Sanka: Naturally Smooth.” And really, what warm and sweaty football star wouldn’t want a roasting hot cup of coffee while in his football getup anyway?

3. Ink, Not Mink

Willis McGahee Chooses Ink, Not Mink

The NFL and PETA haven’t always got along. After Michael Vick’s dog fighting scandal, the two organizations weren’t exactly best friends. However, a few NFL players took part in PETA’s “Ink, Not Mink,” campaign, in an attempt to stop people from wearing fur clothing. Willis McGahee, Terrell Suggs, and Chad Ochocinco, all stripped down to show their ink for PETA. These athletes believe “No amount of needle time can compare to the pain that foxes, rabbits, coyotes, and even cats and dogs endure for the fur industry.”

4. Got Game?

kaepernick

“Got Milk,” and the Play 60 initiative teamed up to release an ad featuring a player from last year’s Super Bowl winning team. The ad featured the quote “Now that it’s over, there’s only one thing I want to do. Repeat.” However, the ad for the 49ers and Ravens were both released to the public. So, while Ray Rice would love to repeat and fuel up with milk, Colin Kaepernick probably doesn’t want to do it all over again.

5. Nike Can Always Have Bo’s Back

Bo Jackson

It’s hard enough becoming a professional athlete in one sport, but two? No problem for Bo Jackson. He is the only professional athlete to ever be named an All-star in two major sports, football and baseball. This inspired Nike to create the very clever ad, “If Bo Jackson takes up any more hobbies, we’re ready.” Even if Bo took up cycling, Nike would be right there waiting with a cycling suit, showing they can offer equipment for any sport.

6.  Got Manning?

Payton Manning

Former NFL quarterback Archie Manning, along with his two star quarterback sons Peyton and Eli are featured in this “Got Milk” ad. Between them are three Super Bowl wins, three Super Bowl MVP’s, and 18 pro bowls.

7. Get Your Hands on Joe Namath!

Joe Namath’s bravado wasn’t appreciated by his opponents, especially his “guarantee” to win Super Bowl III. Naturally, opposing defenses wanted to shut down Namath’s play and his talk.

Champion felt it was their duty to make it easier for people to get their hands on him. They created the ad, “A Lot of Guys Went to Great Lengths to Get Their Hands on Joe Namath’s Jersey. We’ve made it easier for you.”

8. Cruz Loves Salsa and Chipotle

Victor Cruz

Victor Cruz, star wide receiver for the New York Giants, is known to add a little spice to his touchdowns with a quick salsa dance. According to Campbell’s, he also likes to add a little spice to his soup. “After a little salsa in the end zone, Victor Cruz likes chipotle chicken in the locker room.”

9. Eli Manning and Citizen Echo: Unstoppable

citizen_football

Bill Belichick just couldn’t stop Eli Manning. Citizen Echo advertise their watches as unstoppable because they don’t require batteries. So, who else could better represent this than unstoppable Patriots star, Eli Manning? Interestingly enough, you don’t see him sporting the watch in the ad.

10. Wrangler Jeans are Favre Tough

brett favre wrangler

Brett Favre was the ironman of the NFL, playing a record 297 straight games, which is an impressive stat that many people don’t expect to see again anytime soon. That is why Wrangler’s “Built Tough” campaign was a perfect fit for Favre. He defined what it meant to be tough and rugged, the exact consumer Wrangler wants to attract.

Now, if only each pair of jeans would last as long as Favre did.

What’s your favorite ad?

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