Colts' Luck interested in deals with health care, tech firms

November 7, 2012
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Indianapolis Colts rookie quarterback Andrew Luck hasn’t been as high profile in the sponsorship arena as Robert Griffin III, the man taken right behind him at No. 2 in this year’s draft.

But that could change. As he piles up statistics like no other rookie before him, sports marketers say interest in the Stanford graduate is escalating dramatically.

For his part, Luck is not concerned with comparisons to Griffin, who’s already signed multi-million-dollar deals with companies like Subway and Gatorade.

 “I figured with the situation I was in, sort of wait around and hopefully prove myself on this level a little and maybe go with the a-little-less-is-more mentality,” Luck told IBJ recently.

Before his neck injury, Luck's predecessor as Colts QB, Peyton Manning was making about $15 million annually on endorsement deals.

After a year largely on commercial hiatus in 2011, Manning seems to be back to his prime earning power. Sports marketers think Luck has the chance to equal Manning’s commercial output in the coming years.

Last week’s announcement that Luck signed his first significant local corporate deal—with Riley Hospital for Children—could be a sign that he and his agency are ready to get down to business off the field. That deal is for a minimum of four years, and though he declined to discuss the structure of the deal, it’s one that Luck said he’ll be paid for.

There’s no hurry to be the league’s leading endorser, he said.

“I wanted to make sure to do the research and figure out where the opportunities are,” he said. “I felt the opportunity [with Riley] was right and to get the program launched at the beginning of next year, I figured you have to get the program rolling this year and start collaborating this year.”

Now that he better understands the routine of a professional quarterback, Luck said he can allot some time to commercial deals.

Clearly Luck is still finding his way—if not on the field, then certainly off the field. He added that he’s “absolutely” interested in signing other corporate deals in coming months.

So what kind of companies would Luck like to partner with? He said he’s leaving most of that to his uncle and agent, Will Wilson, in order to allow him to focus on football during the season.

Still, Luck certainly has his ideas about what companies and products would make a good fit for him to pitch.

“Things with common values that I have; healthy activities, encouraging kids to get out and eat right, stay active. Having gone to school in Silicon Valley, I’m interested in technology companies and other things out there.”

Luck said community service in his adopted hometown and a strong sense of connection here are just as important as cashing in. During the upcoming off season, Luck is expected to launch his foundation.

“I’m in a position in this city and this state to get a message across,” he said. “If I can bring some attention to this healthy initiative, that will be a good thing.”

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  • And once again Luck proves how smart the Colts were to pick him. RGIII, all about flash. Get the big money deals upfront, be on the magazine covers etc... Luck, take your time, prove what you are worth. Pick up an endorsement deal with a childrens hospital. Seems he is following in Peytons footprints both on and off the field. Irsay has scored again. Back to back QB's with talent, brains and are community minded. This should be a fun decade.
    • Traumatic Brain Injury Champion
      As a father who lost a daughter to the long term effects of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) 7 years ago, I have unsuccessfully worked to find a "Champion" to support with passion the the needs of those TBI survivors and their families that are under served in the Indiana. The Brain Injury Association of Indiana has been transitioning to help them, however they need a "Champion" to draw attention to the needs and raise funds. The incidence of TBI in the USA exceeds the incidence of breast cancer and HIV/Aids combined yet is poorly funded in both treatment, research, education, and advocacy. Andrew Luck or Jim Irsay, or one of their legions would be an ideal "Champion" and I'd like to talk to them about this. Go Colts! You have been an inspiration to us.
      • C'mon
        I know that Andrew's approach is in keeping with your Midwest values and Midwest tendency to be unassuming and more conservative. But, you sound like you are conflating talent, brains, and community mindedness with your values. That would be a mistake. From all accounts, Griffin is a very bright and cerebral kid that has thought carefully about his brand and how he wants to market himself. You sound like you are disparaging him which sounds silly. If you say that his personal style, his branding, etc would not be embraced in this market then fine, we're in agreement. But you seem to be saying that being flashy or taking advantage of the endorsement deals and sports marketing opportunities afforded to him make him a bad guy. You have a right to your lense and value perspective, but the reality of the thing is Midwest conservatism is not the end all be all. There are many paths to success. Griffin's approach is just one that works nationally as well as in the D.C. metro market. Guess we'll both see what fruit the decade bears, huh?
      • ummmm...
        you do realize 'Merkan football is one of the leading causes of brain injuries right? and isn't it great that he's getting PAID to 'promote' Riley hospital, I'm sure that's a GREAT opportunity (to blow millions of $$$$ that could be spent actually PROVIDING HEALTH CARE TO children!)
      • Luck
        Endorsements
      • You go AL
        I think AL should get involved in anything he believes in. These guys have a short window to do their thing in. They are no different than you and I, if they have the opportunity to earn a living off their good name why not. If their name is not good....no opportunities

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      1. These liberals are out of control. They want to drive our economy into the ground and double and triple our electric bills. Sierra Club, stay out of Indy!

      2. These activist liberal judges have gotten out of control. Thankfully we have a sensible supreme court that overturns their absurd rulings!

      3. Maybe they shouldn't be throwing money at the IRL or whatever they call it now. Probably should save that money for actual operations.

      4. For you central Indiana folks that don't know what a good pizza is, Aurelio's will take care of that. There are some good pizza places in central Indiana but nothing like this!!!

      5. I am troubled with this whole string of comments as I am not sure anyone pointed out that many of the "high paying" positions have been eliminated identified by asterisks as of fiscal year 2012. That indicates to me that the hospitals are making responsible yet difficult decisions and eliminating heavy paying positions. To make this more problematic, we have created a society of "entitlement" where individuals believe they should receive free services at no cost to them. I have yet to get a house repair done at no cost nor have I taken my car that is out of warranty for repair for free repair expecting the government to pay for it even though it is the second largest investment one makes in their life besides purchasing a home. Yet, we continue to hear verbal and aggressive abuse from the consumer who expects free services and have to reward them as a result of HCAHPS surveys which we have no influence over as it is 3rd party required by CMS. Peel the onion and get to the root of the problem...you will find that society has created the problem and our current political landscape and not the people who were fortunate to lead healthcare in the right direction before becoming distorted. As a side note, I had a friend sit in an ED in Canada for nearly two days prior to being evaluated and then finally...3 months later got a CT of the head. You pay for what you get...

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