In an age where sports athletes endorse everything from blankets to poker, we bring you the craziest of the lot.
Sports is big business these days. And athletes are not immune to the business side of things.
Despite drawing huge salaries, sports celebrities still find it hard to resist the temptation whenever big brands coming knocking on their door.
While some have made wise choices, many have fallen into the trap of easy money, only to regret it later on.
It’s probably safe to say that our eleven examples will fall in the latter category.
Without further ado…
It would make sense to start then with the number one World’s Highest-Paid Athlete according to Forbes, and the 32-year-old Portuguese footballing superstar has quite a few endorsement skeletons in his closet.
With a lifetime endorsement deal worth $1 billion dollars with Nike, you just wonder if last season La Liga and Champions League winner really needs to be hocking fleece blankets!
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) January 25, 2017
Even more strange, did you know that the Real Madrid talisman is also a brand ambassador with PokerStars?
Apparently, the Portugal national team captain is quite the fan of the (card) game: “I started playing poker a few years ago, and I love the competition, strategy and fun. I’m looking forward to taking my game to the online and live poker tables and meeting my fans head to head.”
Anything Ronaldo can do, his arch rival Messi can do better. The third World’s Highest-Paid Athlete according to Forbes, also has a lifetime deal. But with Adidas.
The 30-year-old Argentine footballer received $27 million in endorsement alone. And we are pretty sure that a huge chunk of it was paid by Indian automobile giant Tata Motors.
While he can do no wrong on the pitch, you do wonder what was Messi thinking when he agreed to do this Japanese commercial for a facewash Scalp-D.
One of the iconic faces of the beautiful game, former English football player David Beckham has been keeping himself busy. The AIA global ambassador is the face of cleaning eating, ensuring that both he and his family consume healthy meals.
So they are not gonna be jumping for the moon when they found out that he was the face of fish fingers earlier on in his career.
The current England national football manager might be smiling now that his young side has secured passage to the World Cup in Russia, but he would not look back on his Pizza Hut commercial with the same sentiment.
Coming off his Euros ’96 penalty miss against the Germans, the former England defender starred in the cult ad only to tell FFT later that “I wish I hadn’t done it.”
If you are scratching your head wondering the link between basketball and water filters, it escapes us too.
The two-time reigning NBA MVP and Golden State Warrior signed a three-year deal with Brita in 2015. He is also the face of the American sports apparel, underarmour.
Essentially the Ronaldo of the 90s’, ex-Chicago Bulls player Michael Jordan was involved in more commercials than any other athlete in modern America.
But, Jordan probably wish that he passed on the 1998 AMF Bowling ad and endorsement that showcased his cheesy acting skills.
After all, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out why Space Jam flopped.
A legend in the wrestling game; Ric Flair is still active as a wrestling manager and WWE Legends.
The “Nature Boy” has had such an illustrious career since the 70s’ and held a number of the major titles, multiple times.
So with all that money in the bank, you just wonder if the 68-year-old still needs to plug the North Carolina Education Lottery.
Now this is the one endorsements that blows our mind. We know that pro wrestling is not a sports per say, but you still need fitness and conditioning to get through a pro wrestling match.
Which is puzzling how a wrestling god like Hulk “Hollywood” Hogan can in good faith endorse fattening fast food to kids. Guess the 80s’ were indeed strange times.
It was just over a year that we lost boxing great Muhammad Ali. #rememberali #ali4eva
The ex-heavyweight champion of the world was probably not looking back with fondness at this ad he did for d-CON Roach Trap. ‘Cos even the champ makes mistakes sometime.
Our Asian boxing action hero; Manny Paquiao is now taking his fight to a political level.
Serving as a Filipino senator, Paquiao’s opponents would not have to dig deep to find dirt on him – his very own soy sauce and vinegar!
Don’t worry Manny, it is probably a case of sour grapes. Or in this case, sour vinegar.
Serena and Venus Williams
The two female tennis superstars that everyone knows; Serena and Venus Williams lead the field when it comes to Grand Slam victories. So it is safe to say that they are pretty flushed with green.
So you can imagine the surprise (and bemusement) when the two sisters decided to put their names behind Oreo, together with New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning.