Reigning Super Bowl champion quarterback Peyton Manning announced his retirement on March 7, 2016, after spending 18 years in the NFL. Known as a golden-child of the League, Manning was the front man for Indianapolis during his 14 seasons with the Colts before becoming the Denver Broncos’ beloved play-caller. He also represented countless consumer brands throughout his playing career – Papa John’s, Nationwide and Reebok, to name a few – and, as one of The University of Tennessee’s most esteemed Volunteers, his name is nearly synonymous with the phrase “Go Big Orange.”
What this means for brands:
Manning earned an estimated $12 million for endorsements in 2015, and holding 21 NFL records, his marketability is likely to only increase in retirement. Now that he is freed from the NFL’s endorsement guidelines, Manning has the ability to represent a wider range of brands, including his favorite beer, Budweiser, which he mentioned in multiple interviews throughout his career. In addition to independence from league rules, Manning will have an immeasurable increase in free time. While he undoubtedly plans to spend much of that time with his wife and twin son and daughter, many speculate about a future in broadcasting. With a football IQ above and beyond that of most players and a personality that shines with proper support, a career in commentary seems inevitable. The question now is which broadcaster will be lucky enough to draft him first, and which brands will find the proper ways to capitalize on his emeritus player status. Who knows – with all this free time, Manning may even get a Twitter account.