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The Score - Anthony Schoettle

Welcome to The Score, your place for hard-hitting sports business news, fast-breaking updates and fuel-injected debate.  Buckle up.  I'm your host, Anthony Schoettle, IBJ sports reporter.

Sports Business

Is Gary Brackett a ring away from commercial stardom?

December 7, 2009
KEYWORDS Sports Business

After watching myriad NFL football games yesterday and observing the Indianapolis Colts defense step up once again, a question came to mind.

Is Colts’ linebacker Gary Brackett a Super Bowl win away from becoming the next NFL defender to hit commercial pay dirt. It’s not often that an NFL defender signs lucrative ad deals. Especially when they're living in the shadow of Peyton Manning, the most celebrated NFL pitch man of his generation.
 
But it does happen. And a Super Bowl ring doesn’t hurt. Exhibit 1: Michael Strahan. Justin Tuck has even gone along for the ride in the most recent Subway ad campaign.

Brackett is far from the only player making waves on this Colts’ defense—which becomes more lovable by the week. Robert Mathis is having a great year. Who will forget Melvin Bullitt’s game-altering tackle against New England. Dwight Freeney’s spin moves have long been eye catching and he's also spun his way into local ad campaigns. And there are others standouts for a Colts defensive unit that has overcome more than its share of adversity.

But it takes more than just defensive prowess and a Super Bowl ring to score endorsement deals. It takes personality, charisma and the ability to shine when the camera is on. For those who have heard Brackett on local radio shows and TV newscasts, you can quickly say to those three things; Check, check and check.

Brackett, in his eighth year out of Rutgers, is starting to hit his stride off the field. He’s articulate, smart and funny. He can turn a phrase as well as put opposing offenses on their heels. And his IMPACT Foundation for kids battling cancer is as active as any player-led foundation in this community.

Star power, I’d say Brackett has it. Even if it’s often eclipsed by Manning and the Colts’ high-octane offense.

But Brackett isn’t complaining. Sunday’s post-game media frenzy found him stumping for Manning for NFL MVP.

Did I mention Brackett is a good teammate too. 
 

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