Some of the best ways for companies to make money is for advertisers to find professional athletes and other celebrities to endorse their products. We’ve all seen some of the most famous ones, such as Michael Jordan with Hanes, LeBron James with Sprite, or any of the hundreds of ads that Peyton Manning has done over the years.
But sometimes, things are a little weird. Whether it’s the product itself or just a strange fit with the athlete, a handful of pairings have us scratching our heads. Why would that guy endorse that product? Why would that product want that athlete? We looked back at some really weird products that have had a professional athlete or coach give their stamp of approval.
7. Ray Lewis – Snuggies
Linebacker Ray Lewis is known for a lot of things; his excellent play on the field with the Baltimore Ravens, his two Super Bowl championships, and unfortunately, also his involvement in a murder early in his professional career. So when we discovered that Lewis had done an endorsement for Snuggie, the backwards blanket that you wear like a robe, it just didn’t fit.
Nevertheless, the Ravens great sported a purple Snuggie and attempted to sell them to the masses as part of his expansive RL52 line. We aren’t sure how that worked out for the company, but it makes our list of weird athlete and product combinations without question.
6. Jimmy Johnson – ExtenZe
So, this one is really weird. Former Dallas Cowboys head coach Jimmy Johnson was, at one time, the poster boy for ExtenZe, a “natural male enhancement” product that likes to beat around the bush about what it actually (supposedly) does: Embiggens your penis.
Medically speaking, there is no proof that it works. In fact ExtenZe had to pay a $300,000 fine for false advertising. But that didn’t stop Johnson from endorsing it.
Forget, for a second, that the product is absolute bunk. Why would any famous person want to publicly put their face all over a product used for increasing your “size?” It seems like the kind of thing people wouldn’t want to admit they use. Anything for a few extra bucks, right?
5. Tom Brady – UGGs
Tom Brady is known as one of the best quarterbacks to ever play in the NFL — possibly the greatest QB of all time. So anything he endorses will almost instantly get a boost. That’s why it was so curious that one item he chose to put his face on was UGGs For Men. You know, the weird boots with the fuzzy tops that are common among 20-something women? Only in men’s shoes.
The commercial that UGGs put together with Brady is actually pretty cool, chronicling his life from high school baseball to college at Michigan and later the NFL. But how that ties into the specific shoe he wears… kind of confusing. Either way, this product wasn’t ever really popular in America, which makes it a weird fit.
4. Roger Clemens – Zest
Did you ever want to see a campy, 1980s commercial where former MLB great Roger Clemens sings while sporting a towel? Then we have the commercial for you!
Back in 1987, the Boston Red Sox pitcher did an ad for Zest soap. Those above a certain age will recall the tagline, “You’re not fully clean unless you’re Zestfully clean!” But rather than the usual actors doing the song and dance behind towels, Zest mixed in Clemens at the beginning and end of the commercial.
If the whole thing took place in a locker room only, with several players singing and dancing, it would make sense. But the mix between Clemens and the regular people seemed odd, and his singing is bad. We’re betting Roger probably just wants to forget this one.
3. Rafael Palmeiro – Viagra
Former Texas Rangers slugger Rafael Palmeiro did an ad for Viagra back in 2003, right at the height of popularity for the little blue pill. To be clear, this was around the time when it was a medical breakthrough for men who can’t achieve or keep erections. Great for them and their partners, but not exactly the kind of thing anyone wants to shout from the mountaintops.
That is, except for Palmeiro. Not only does he endorse it, but he explicitly states in the commercial that his doctor says it’s right for him. Cue the locker room snickering and jokes about flaccid performance on the field as his career came to an end just a few years later.
2. Tony Siragusa – Depends
Tony Siragusa, a former football player who is now more known for his less-than-stellar sideline reports, did an ad for Depends not too long ago. Yes, Depends, the product known for adult diapers. The image of the gigantic Siragusa in an adult diaper is enough on its own to qualify for this list, even without the strange commercial they put together.
In reality, the product that Siragusa hocked is a pad for men that, according to The Goose, leak a little.” It’s essentially a re-branding of maxi-pads, which makes the whole thing just a little bit more funny. Can you imagine the advertising team attempting to come up with a way to sell maxi-pads to men? Hey, let’s create a “man space” in the cabinet, that will make putting their pee pads in there acceptable!
1. Joe Namath – Beautymist Pantyhose
Granted, this commercial was pretty well done. It plays on the fact that you wouldn’t expect former New York Jets quarterback Joe Namath to be wearing Beautymist Pantyhose — sold for $1.69! Still, however, Joe Namath did a commercial for pantyhose while wearing women’s pantyhose. Try to wrap your head around that one.
At the very least, this is not the most embarrassing thing that Namath has done on television – just ask Suzy Kolber about that. Kissing Suzy Kolber soon became a well-known blog on the internet, which came to a demise in recent years thanks to the ownership at UpRoxx. But other than playing football, the drunken moment with Kolber on the sidelines is what Namath is most known for. While embarrassing, at least most people forgot about the pantyhose?