Peyton Manning: Peter Johnson

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Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is recognized as one of the top three highest-paid endorsers in the National Football League, with sponsorship earnings between $3 million and $5 million, according to consultancy Burns Sports & Celebrities.

Mr. Manning's personal manager is Peter Johnson, senior corporate VP and director of corporate sales & marketing and team sports division at International Management Group. The executive pins Mr. Manning's marketing achievements on his personality and legacy-being the son of legendary NFL quarterback Archie Manning. Mr. Johnson says, "Our success with Peyton is pegged to how well he plays and how well his team plays."

The 51-year-old sports marketing executive, who joined IMG in 1976 from the Wharton Business School at the University of Pennsylvania, follows a "Less is more" philosophy. That meant signing contracts with blue-chip companies, for a minimum of three years. In addition to national sponsorships, the strategy also includes local linkups in Mr. Manning's college home of Knoxville, Tenn., and professional home of Indianapolis.

His national contracts include big names such as Adidas, DirecTV, Microsoft Corp., Nabisco Biscuit Co. and Quaker Oats Co.'s Gatorade. In Indiana his deals are with a supermarket and a hospital, while in Tennessee Mr. Manning has associations with a bank and a health organization.

"He is very involved in all of their advertising and promotions," says Mr. Johnson, "and the strategy has given Manning a full marketing portfolio."

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