Manning vs. Manning II

February 15, 2008
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Less than two weeks after Super Bowl XLII, N.Y. Giants quarterback Eli Manning is already picking up ground on older brother Peyton, Indianapolis Colts QB, at least in terms of jersey sales.

Merchandise sales is a big revenue line for the National Football League, and jersey sales make up the biggest slice of that pie. The league sells more than 4 million jerseys annually, bringing in an estimated $350 million. The top 20 best selling NFL jerseys from April 1 to Feb. 8 on, a key indicator of overall sales, are listed below. Eli recently jumped into the top 20 at No. 7, while Peyton is holding his own at No. 4. Sports business experts think Eli could overtake Peyton this summer. Colts defensive back Bob Sanders is one of only four defensive players to make the top 20.

1. Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys
2. Tom Brady, New England Patriots
3. Brett Favre, Green Bay Packers
4. Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts
5. LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego Chargers
6. Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings
7. Eli Manning, New York Giants
8. Randy Moss, New England Patriots
9. Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears
10. Troy Polamalu, Pittsburgh Steelers
11. Devin Hester, Chicago Bears
12. Marion Barber, Dallas Cowboys
13. Reggie Bush, New Orleans Saints
14. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers
15. Terrell Owens, Dallas Cowboys
16. Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys
17. Brady Quinn, Cleveland Browns
18. Sean Taylor, Washington Redskins
19. Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia Eagles
20. Bob Sanders, Indianapolis Colts

So, will Eli overtake Peyton? And what is Brady Quinn doing on this list?
  • With a market 10 times the size of Indianapolis and a fresh Super Bowl win Eli has a good chance of taking over his big brother.
  • Go Bob, Go Bob, Go Bob. I would not be surprised to see Eli jump over Peyton this summer after the big Super Bowl win by the Giants. But it will be interesting to see if Eli can maintain that popularity into the new season. Will Eli be a guy like Brett Farve or Ben Roethisberger who stays a top seller even when their team isn't on top? I would say probably not unless Eli gets more heavily marketed through national ad campaigns.
  • It appears that Eli is already hitting pay dirt after his Super Bowl win. I have just learned that Eli had a clause inserted in his contract by his agent that earned the young quarterback a $250,000 bonus for winning the wild card game, $500,000 more for winning the divisional round playoff game, and another $250,000 for the NFC Championship game. His contract, negotiated by agent Tom Condon, also stipulated the Giants pay him another $500,000 bonus for winning the Super Bowl. All told, Eli Manning netted a nifty $1.5 million in contract bonuses for the Giants' playoff run. While these type of bonus laiden contracts are not common in the NFL, Condon said for his No. 1 overall picks, they are not uncommon.
  • The year Peyton was drafted, the NFL did not think they would sell enough Manning jerseys to justify setting up the printers. When I walk in to the RCA dome, it takes me less than a minute to see the number of jerseys for breaking even, 235...

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