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AFC SOUTH: Luck Taking Different Tack With Endorsement Deals

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
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(Photo Credit: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Andrew Luck isn’t taking endorsement calls. He’s making them.

Five months after Luck first started using a new sports drink during offseason workouts, the Colts quarterback and Bodyarmor announced they had reached a multiyear agreement for Luck to promote the product. Contract details were not provided, though Luck will receive an equity stake in the company. The advertising campaign kicked off Tuesday and will soon include television commercials in Indy and other markets featuring the Colts’ franchise quarterback.

“He knows what he wants to get behind,” Bodyarmor co-founder and chairman Mike Repole said. “He doesn’t want to be a NASCAR driver that wants to endorse everything.”

After giving up his final year of eligibility at Stanford to enter the NFL draft, Luck had many opportunities to make big bucks endorsing major products. He turned most of them down, just like his predecessor in Indianapolis, Peyton Manning.

But Luck has gone about things in a different way than most athletic stars.

Manning, Tiger Woods and others have become high-profile pitchmen for major products. Luck, however, has been picky about the brands he chooses. So far, he’s gone primarily after deals with lower-profile products that he uses and says he believes in.

“I make sure I only do endorsement things for products I enjoy,” Luck said.

While Luck may have lost out on the big paydays in the short-term, marketing experts believe Luck will be able to recoup that money in the long-term — if he continues to be successful on the field.

Marc Ganis, president of Chicago-based sports consulting firm SportsCorp, believes Luck’s potential is unlimited.

“First, you’ve got to tell me how good he’s going to be and that will play a big role in what he will generate in endorsements,” Ganis said. “Second, the bar has already been set, so he’s going to get more. I see a bright future and a long future for him.”

Businesses are finding creative ways to get in on the ground floor of Luck’s marketability.

As part of the deal with Klipsch, and Indy-based audio technology manufacturer, it agreed to let Luck design his own brand of products. Luck, a music fanatic, began using the equipment after first hearing the sound in the Colts’ weight room. Shortly after that, he instructed his agent, Will Wilson, to approach Klipsch about a deal.

The same thing happened with Bodyarmor, where he joins a list of endorsers that already includes baseball stars Buster Posey and Mike Trout and NFL stars Rob Gronkowski, LeSean McCoy, Jason Pierre-Paul and Ray Rice simply because he liked Bodyarmor better than other sports drinks.

Luck became interested after trying the natural sports drink during his offseason workouts. He found that the drink didn’t make him as sluggish as other sports drinks, and it didn’t take long for the two sides to make a deal.

Luck said he doesn’t anticipate any more big announcements being made soon because he’s got to focus on full-time job — winning football games.

“We did a lot of work in the offseason and there’s a lot of legwork that has to be done for deals of this nature because you can’t focus on it during the season,” he said. “Football, obviously, is the priority, I know that, my agent knows that and my partners know that.”

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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