No. 10 - Derek Jeter for Avon
What he’s hawking: Cologne and body wash
Why it’s surprising: Avon is usually associated with makeup and beauty products.
Yankees legend Derek Jeter’s days on the diamond might be over, but that’s not going to stop him from bringing in the dough. He’s still got deals with companies like Jordan Brand/Nike, Gatorade, Movado, and Rawlings, so don’t count on spotting him on any “broke athletes” lists anytime soon. One of his endorsements did catch us off guard though, and that’s his deal with Avon Products. If you ever get the urge to smell like one of the game’s all-time greatest shortstops, now you know where to go.
No. 9 - Shaq for Gold Bond
What he’s hawking: Body powder
Why it’s surprising: Have you seen the commercials?
Shaq Diesel has endorsed some pretty crazy things throughout his epic run as both a player and analyst. He went from Pepsi to his very own Shaq Soda. He’s done Oreo commercials and had his own fighting video game in the ‘90s. But the weirdest, most perplexing Shaq endorsement of them all is his deal with Gold Bond. Shaq-cool? More like Shaq-eww.
No. 8 - John Cena for Fruity Pebbles
What he’s hawking: Cereal
Why it’s surprising: Fruity Pebbles isn’t exactly the most macho cereal out there, and it’s also incredibly unhealthy.
Playing off an insult from The Rock, 12-time WWE Champion John Cena took the verbal lashing and turned it into a positive by becoming Fruity Pebbles’ newest box star. We’re glad to see him earn some extra cake, but c’mon son. Would Hulk Hogan or Bret Hart have ever been on a Fruity Pebbles box? Is Wheaties not cool anymore?
No. 7 - Peyton Manning for Papa John’s
What he’s hawking: Pizza
Why it’s surprising: As one of the most visible athletes in the country, Peyton should be backing something healthier.
Peyton Manning’s connection to Papa John’s goes deeper than you might realize. In 2012, he actually put money down on nearly two dozen Papa John’s franchises throughout Colorado. When asked about the investment last month, Peyton’s answer couldn’t have been more surprising: “There’s some different laws out here in Colorado. Pizza business is pretty good out here, believe it or not, due to some recent law changes. So when you come to a different place, you’ve kind of got to learn everything that comes with it.”
In other words, the NFL’s all-time passing touchdown leader is basically admitting that the state’s marijuana legalization has led to booming business. The pot and pizza combo is a given, but pot, pizza, and Peyton? We didn’t see that one coming.
No. 6 - Venus Williams for Oreo
What she’s hawking: Cookies
Why it’s surprising: They might be America’s favorite cookie, but they’re also one of the unhealthiest.
Oreo’s had a handful of athletes under its umbrella over the years, including Shaq, Apolo Ohno, and Eli Manning. The Williams sisters have also done promo for Oreo, including the extra-unhealthy Double Stuffed and Triple Double variations. This one is just puzzling from all angles. Why would some of the world’s best athletes put their reputation on the line to cosign such terrible junk food? Was the paycheck really worth it?
No. 5 - Usain Bolt for Comcast
What he’s hawking: High-speed Internet
Why it’s surprising: Comcast is one of the most ridiculed companies around, why let them take advantage of your talent?
We’ll admit that Comcast made a smart move in seeking out Usain Bolt to help promote their high-speed Internet, but unfortunately we lost a little bit of respect for the sprinter after this one. The company is known for their deplorable customer service, inconsistent speeds, and intermittent service, so anyone who would choose to rep them is only asking for it. When you’ve got unparalleled talent, you have to be wise about which brands and companies you stand behind, and someone on Bolt’s PR team should’ve nipped this one in the bud.
No. 4 - Maria Sharapova for Porsche
What she’s hawking: High performance sports cars
Why it’s surprising: When we think Maria Sharapova, we think beautiful, talented, and graceful. We don’t think Porches.
Do people actually see Maria Sharapova’s Porsche ads and think “that’s it, today’s the day I take the jump and buy the Spyder?” If she was selling racquets, beauty products, or snacks, we’d more than likely be down to drop some dough. But a Porsche? Is the race car driver industry struggling or something?
No. 3 - Roger Federer for Lindt
What he’s hawking: Chocolate
Why it’s surprising: Lindt makes some damn good chocolates, but they’re definitely not going to help your backswing.
Much has been written about Roger Federer’s dedication to the game of tennis. Did you know he makes it a point to get 12 hours of sleep every night? For someone who’s so serious about their game, it’s a bit surprising to see Federer backing Swiss chocolatiers Lindt. Sure, they’re delicious, but if you go overboard, you’ll have a hard time even showing up to match day.
No. 2 - LeBron James for Dunkin’ Donuts
What he’s hawking: Donuts
Why it’s surprising: Could there have been anything less healthy for the King to cosign?
You may not have noticed it here in the States, but LeBron has a deal with Dunkin’ Donuts to promote their treats in China. Among the varieties offered are shredded pork donuts, which are probably about as healthy as they sound. LeBron’s got some other questionable endorsements here at home, including McDonald’s and Baskin-Robbin’s, but Dunkin’ Donuts tops the chart.
No. 1 - Cristiano Ronaldo for KFC
What he’s hawking: Fried chicken
Why it’s surprising: Soccer’s greatest player meets one of the worst junk foods in the world.
This one is pretty much just an all-around WTF. Unfortunately, athletes have been endorsing fast food for decades, but this could very well be the worst of all time. Believe it or not, KFC’s greasy, calorie-packed chicken isn’t going to give you moves like Ronaldo. At the end of the commercial below, Ronaldo says KFC is “so good”, but we can’t help but feel the pain and reluctance in his voice.