By Jahla Seppanen
In the wake of New England Patriots QB being denied by the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals after submitting a petition to rehear his suspension case, Tom Brady will continue to bank on a smart endorsement deal he secured with Under Armour six years ago.
The NFL released on the morning of July 13 that Brady was denied by the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals, who upheld the initial four-game suspension.
The suspension came about from the January 2015 AFC Championship game tampering, often referred to as “Deflategate,” when Patriot footballs were deliberately underinflated (NFL rules state gauge pressure must be between 12.5 to 13.5 pounds per square inch), giving the team an unfair advantage against the Indianapolis Colts.
According to NFL media insider Ian Rapoport, following the rejection of Brady’s petition, the athlete has 90 days to file a petition to the U.S. Supreme Court. This would be the last opportunity to challenge the suspension. However, the QB issued he would not be taking these steps, ending his petition and accepting the four-game suspension.
The Patriots are currently set to begin the 2016 season on September 11, and if the initial suspension is held, Brady will miss this game and three following games, currently set to be played at home against the Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and Buffalo Bills. The suspension timeline places Brady back on the field on October 9 in a match against the Cleveland Browns.
Like all major athletes that come under scrutiny, including Maria Sharapova for doping charges or Manny Pacquiao for his controversial comments on same-sex marriage, Brady could face the music from the brands that signed on to endorse the superstar player.
Brady is somewhat modest when it comes to endorsement deals compared to other athletes. His most noteworthy deal with Under Armour, still in effect, began in 2010 when the quarterback opted to be reimbursed with shares as opposed to liquid cash. This was perhaps one of the best endorsement decisions any athlete has made, given Brady’s ownership stake in the company which has boomed with success within the past six years.
Brady was featured in Under Armour’s Rule Yourself campaign following Deflategate in September 2015, showing the brand was willing to stand by their investment, and will likely do the same in the wake of the rejected appeal. No, Brady wasn’t the superstar of the campaign, with Stephen Curry and Jordan Spieth taking the majority of the limelight, but with shares in Under Armour we could assume Brady wasn’t too torn up about playing second string.
The second endorsement deal Brady banks on is a partnership with Ugg Boots, also signed in 2010. However, the athlete has yet to appear in any campaigns or promotional Ugg material since last December.
Brady was also in a contract with Smartwater prior to the Deflategate scandal, which was signed in 2007 and ended in 2010 after he blasted its parent company, Coca-Cola, for brainwashing kids through advertising.
In light of Brady’s endorsement history and current small bag of partnerships, he is ranked on the 2016 Forbes Top 100 list of highest paid celebrities, coming in at Number 54, while he breaks the Top 20 in the list of Highest-Paid Athletes at Number 15. Forbes records his salary at $36.1 million and endorsements at $8 million.
To put it into perspective, Christiano Ronaldo is Number 4 on the Forbes Top 100 list as the highest paid celebrity, with Lionel Messi following at Number 8, LeBron James at Number 11, and Roger Federer at Number 16. Cam Newton is the first football player on the list holding the spot at Number 37. Newton is also an Under Armour athlete, so although Brady isn’t taking the top spot this year, he’s still benefiting.
Photo and video courtesy Under Armour