Superman and Sheriff battle for league's marketing crown

Tue Feb 2, 2016 7:04pm EST
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By Steve Keating

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Super Bowl 50 is primed for a symbolic passing of the torch from one generation to the next with Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning ready to hand off the mantle of greatness to the Carolina Panthers' Cam Newton.

For most of his 18-year-career, Manning has been the National Football League's most bankable player, on and off the field.

A Hall of Fame resume that includes five most valuable player awards and a slew of significant quarterbacking records provide the statistical evidence that mark Manning out as one of gridiron's all-time greats.

Those numbers also form the foundation for a portfolio of endorsements that have made Manning the NFL's top product pitchman and the "Sheriff" has also become one of the United States' most popular athletes.

But come Sunday there could be a new 'Sheriff' in town.

Newton may not just leave San Francisco with a Super Bowl and an NFL most valuable player award but he could also have one hand on Manning's endorsement crown.

"What you have here is something very interesting, the Super Bowl is now the oldest story in sport, the passing of the flame from one to the other," Dom Curran, CEO of Synergy USA, who has more than two decades of experience developing and implementing sports sponsorships.

"If you are over 30 years old, you are probably associating football with Manning, but if you are under 30 years old you are going to be associating football with Cam Newton, certainly now and potentially for the next 10 years."   Continued...

Jan 24, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates on the side lines during the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship football game at Bank of America Stadium.  Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports