Can Athletes Pitch Cars and Trucks?

Justin Verlander

Wednesday night’s ESPY Awards, the “Oscars” of professional sports, was marked by the debut of a 2012 Buick Verano commercial featuring Peyton Manning, quarterback of the Denver Broncos. Not so coincidentally, Manning’s pitch came during the same week that arch-nemesis Tom Brady starred in a hip new ad for the 2013 Dodge Dart. It seems as though football players, and quarterbacks in particular, make the best car salesmen. Let’s look around the leagues to see who makes the grade.


Tom Brady (Dodge) – The only man on earth with the marketability to star in both an UGG and a Dodge commercial and not get laughed off stage:

Peyton Manning (Buick) – The “Jack of All Trades.” Credit cards, sports drinks, apparel, public service announcements—the list goes on. You name it, he’ll do it and make you chuckle. Or shake your head if you’re a Pats fan.

Eli Manning (Toyota) – Watch out, Peyton, your little bro is right behind you. While I still have to give the QB and acting awards to the elder Manning, don’t sleep on Eli…


Derek Jeter (Ford) – Like a fine wine, the man just gets better with age. A stellar acting performance like this could persuade even the staunchest Red Sox fan to buy a Ford Edge.


Blake Griffin (Kia) – I must say, the man has a lot more to offer than jaw-dropping dunks. Don’t quit your day job, Blake, but not bad for a first-timer in this spot for the 2012 Kia Optima.

Shaq (Buick) – Between “Kazaam,” a brief rap career and countless TV cameos, Shaq is an old hand at performing on the big stage. Man, Buick really has an all-star commercial lineup these days. If Shaq can fit in the 2012 Buick LaCrosse, so can you!

Grab Bag

Michael Jordan (Chevrolet/Geo) – Had to throw the classic 1992 Chevy Blazer commercial in:

John McEnroe (Seat) – Apparently, they love him in France, too! You have to love a pro athlete who can laugh at him/herself these days. Job well done, McEnroe. If I could find one, I’d totally buy a Seat Altea now.

Do you think using athletes as car pitchmen works? Which of these commercials works best? Any great ads we missed?


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1 Comment

  1. That Shaq Buick commercial has got to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. LOOK AT HIS KNEES– They are almost sticking out of the windows. Honest, you think Shaq would be comfortable driving around in a car that is so undersized (for his height) that he looks like he’s in a clown car? Not even if they gave him one for free. He’d even need some work done on an escalade to fit comfortably.
    At least most of the other jocks can fit in the cars, except, for course, those basketball players.

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