Mr. Manning is starring in a new Gatorade spot that begins airing tonight as part of the PepsiCo-owned sports drink's recently minted "League of Clutch" campaign from Omnicom Group's Element 79, Chicago.
The spot features clips of Mr. Manning's sparkling performance against the New England Patriots -- and, of course, the celebratory Gatorade bath he received after clinching the victory. Gatorade is also auctioning off five commemorative Gatorade bottles signed by Mr. Manning via eBay.
Mr. Manning has been on Gatorade's endorser roster since 2005, but hasn't previously been featured in any TV creative. His older brother, Peyton, is Gatorade's headlining football endorser and perhaps the most prolific endorser in all of sports, having pitched products for Sprint, Sony, MasterCard and DirecTV, among others. (Peyton also is the 2006 winner of Bob Garfield's Bobby Award for best performance in a spot by a celebrity.)
Peyton's little brother
Before his Super Bowl victory, most of Eli Manning's prior endorsements had featured him, essentially, as Peyton's little brother and Hall of Fame quarterback Archie Manning's son. An ESPN promo showed the two brothers goofing off behind dad's back during a studio tour, and a DirecTV ad showed the two brothers betrayed by their dad's embrace of Arizona Cardinals quarterback Matt Leinart. More recently, the Manning trio starred in a spot for Oreo in which the two brothers quit football to join the "Double Stuff Racing League," to their lard-licking delight and dad's embarrassment.
Eli Manning did sign an endorsement deal with Reebok after being the first pick in the 2004 draft, but the new Gatorade spot is perhaps his first major opportunity as a solo pitchman.
Giants receiver David Tyree, whose miraculous catch of a desperate Eli Manning throw in the fourth quarter was the key play during the Giants' game-winning drive, has also cashed in on the victory, signing a one-year exclusive autograph-signing deal with the East Coast collectibles chain BC Sports.