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Could Eli Manning Be A Better Endorser Than Tom Brady?

Friday, 3 Feb 2012 | 3:46 PM ET

On and off the field, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady has all the markings of a perfect endorser. He's a winner, he's got the crossover good looks and plenty of confidence.

Eli Manning? Winner, sure.

But beyond that the younger Manning doesn't exactly compete with Brady for national attention in the advertising world.

Yet data from one national pollster reflects that Manning, who has deals with Reebok, Toyota , Oreo & Citizen Watch, should be getting more attention.

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning
Getty Images
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning

A pre-Super Bowl survey from the Davie-Brown Indexshows that people find Manning to be more appealing, aspirational, influential and trustworthy than Tom Brady, who has deals with Under Armour , Stetson, UGG & Smartwater. Brady only prevailed one category — awareness (81.1% of the US knows him compared to 79.6% for Manning). That's easy to imagine not only because of his football success but because he's married to supermodel Gisele Bundchen.

Super Bowl, Super Sports, Super Bucks - A CNBC Special Report
Super Bowl, Super Sports, Super Bucks - A CNBC Special Report

The clear Super Bowlbreakthrough marketing stars, if they could have big games, would clearly be Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski. Both only made the second-year minimum of $450,000 in salary this year and a Super BowlMVP could more than double their pay in new sponsor deals. Cruz is already known by 27 percent of the population, while 26.8 percent have heard of the hulking Gronk. In fact, more people know these two nationally than Wes Welker (23%), Brandon Jacobs (20.1%), Jason Pierre Paul (20.1%) and Justin Tuck (18.4%).

Cruz just signed with IMG for marketing, which should give him a boost. Cruz said something salsa will play into his deals, but it's too early in the game. IMG's Carlos Fleming, who does the marketing for Cam Newton, has all of a sudden become a hot guy to call in the football world.

Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com

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