Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Cam Newton is he the new face of NFL?


CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Maybe it's time for Cam Newton to enter the presidential race. If he were 35 instead of 26, the Carolina Panthers quarterback could become the first dabbin' commander in chief. He could set a new standard for Oval Office style if he wore those yellow, Barocco, zebra-print Versace pants he sported for his team's flight to Super Bowl 50. If you look at the numbers, a Newton campaign is not as outlandish as you might think. Since the beginning of the season, his marketability metrics have skyrocketed as the Panthers (17-1) won games en route to Sunday's showdown with the Denver Broncos for the Lombardi Trophy. "He actually has better influential scores, the ability to change people's perceptions, than Donald Trump, [President] Obama and Hillary Clinton," said Peter Laatz, the executive vice president of Repucom, a global sports and entertainment research and consulting company. Repucom partners with The Marketing Arm on the Davie-Brown Index that measures the metrics of more than 3,800 athletes and celebrities. Newton has gone from No. 1,182 to No. 131 in the entire DBI database of influence. That puts him ahead of NBA star LeBron James, actors Matt Damon and Leonardo DiCaprio, and singer Blake Shelton. The U.S. population's awareness of who Newton is has gone from 38 percent in September to 52 percent in January. He still is not on par with New England'sTom Brady (88 percent as of this week) and Denver's Peyton Manning (85 percent), but the significant increase pushed Newton from 28th to ninth in the NFL. "Cam, interestingly, has metrics as powerful as previous quarterbacks that actually have won the Super Bowl," Laatz said. "If he wins the Super Bowl, he'll land on the top spot in most of the metrics in the NFL." One could argue Newton is becoming the face of the NFL. That Manning, who has set the standard in NFL marketing, will be the opposition Sunday at Levi's Stadium could represent a symbolic changing of the guard. According to Forbes, Manning is the NFL's top pitchman, with $12 million annually in endorsements from companies such as Papa John's Pizza, Nationwide Insurance and Gatorade. Newton's annual endorsement total will be $11 million, with $1 million in bonuses for helping Carolina reach the Super Bowl, said Carlos Fleming, senior vice president of talent management for IMG, which represents Newton. Fleming maintained his stance from prior to the season that Newton's portfolio -- Gatorade, Under Armour, Dannon, Belk and Drakkar Essence -- is second only to Manning's.

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