December 3, 2009: As the old saying goes, good things happen when you are 11-0.
Drew Brees, who is the quarterback of the 11-0 New Orleans Saints (prior to games of Dec. 6), could be the next big thing among NFL athletes in the sports endorsement arena. He recently was just one of three NFL players seen in a PSA with President Obama (along with Pittsburgh Steelers Troy Polamalu and DeMarcus Ware of the Dallas Cowboys) playing a game of pickup football on the White House lawn as part of a joint effort between the NFL's Play 60 campaign to fight childhood obesity and the President's United We Serve initiative. ESPN has dusted off Brees' "This is SportsCenter" TV spot, in which the quarterback causes a traffic jam at ESPN headquarters when the Mardi Gras float he is driving gets stuck in the front gate.
Now, Fitness Anywhere said that Brees has signed a deal to become marketing spokesman for the TRX Suspension Training system and also has become an investor in Fitness Anywhere. Financial terms were not disclosed.
According to San Francisco-based Fitness Anywhere, the TRX Suspension Training has been used by Brees since 2005, when the quarterback underwent potentially career-threatening shoulder surgery but returned in 2006 without missing a game. Brees worked with his performance coach, Todd Durkin, and incorporated TRX Suspension Training into his rehabilitation. In 2008, Brees become only the second quarterback in NFL history to pass for more than 5,000 yards in one season, with his total of 5.069 yards second all-time to Dan Marino's 5,084 yards passing in 1984.
"I don't put my name behind anything unless I believe in it 100%," Brees said in a statement. "So for me to endorse the company's products and also invest in it should say a lot about how excited I am about what Fitness Anywhere is doing."
Brees has the potential to become a national endorser for several products, along the lines of quarterback Peyton Manning, who earns the most among NFL players with an estimated $13 million in annual endorsements from such companies as MasterCard, Sony and Gatorade. Brees earns an estimated $4-5 million annually, according to analysts, but easily could double that figure if the Saints reach and then win Super Bowl XLIV and he is named MVP. Brees' agent is Tom Condon with CAA.
Although specific details were not revealed, several marketing components using Brees are currently in development, including online, DTC and print. "For our company's equipment and programming to have played an important role in Drew's rehabilitation and contribute to his enormous level of success on the field is thrilling," Randy Hetrick,founder and president of Fitness Anywhere, said in a statement. "Drew is not only one of the best players in the game, but he's also shares our vision of excellence, community involvement and supporting our military service members. We're looking forward to working closely with Drew on some exciting projects over the years to come."
Brees' other major endeavor is the Brees Dream Foundation, which he established in 2003 with his wife, Brittany, to help advance cancer research, care for cancer patients, and to help rebuild schools, parks, playgrounds and athletic fields in New Orleans, San Diego (where he played before joining the Saints) and Purdue (where Brees went to school) communities. The Foundation has raised and/or committed more than $4.5 million to date. Among his partners there is Warner Bros., which created limited-edition hand-painted cels and lithographs featuring Brees and autographed by him with several Looney Tunes characters to commemorate his 5,000-yard achievement, with funds being donated to the Brees Dream Foundation.
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