Has Andrew Luck really ditched the “Neard” for a Fu Manchu?
No, not yet. But the Indianapolis Colts quarterback who prefers growing a neck beard didn’t mind putting on some fake facial hair to channel his inner Joe Namath for a TV advertisement promoting Body Armor’s new SuperDrink sports energy beverage.
A clean-shaven Luck is first shown in an old leather helmet, striking the passing pose in a vintage-colored reel to simulate back in the day. Then he’s got the long sideburns and handlebar moustache while wearing a full-length mink coat, the look “Broadway Joe” made famous as a life-of-the-party New York Jets quarterback five decades ago.
The YouTube video link and pictures have been making the social-media rounds.
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano was asked Wednesday during offseason training activities if he had seen Luck’s new ad.
“Very jealous,” Pagano said. “Well, I didn’t see it. Someone told me about a mink coat. I’m fighting for my life, okay. I don’t have time to be watching commercials.”
When asked if Luck ever wore a mink coat to the Colts complex, the coach smirked and said, “No, what do you think? I think that’s probably as far away from Andrew Luck as you’ll ever get, right? It must have been a nice mink coat they gave him. (Laughs) Wouldn’t we all like to be ‘Broadway Joe’ for one day. I would. I’d jump in the river, and I’d go with it.”
The three-time Pro Bowl passer didn’t do a locker-room interview during Wednesday’s break from offseason training activities.
In 2013, Luck explained the origin of landing an equity share agreement to promote Body Armor products during a television interview with Bloomberg.
“I was drinking Body Armor a lot in the offseason as I was working out over a year ago,” Luck said. “I told my agent about it, how much I enjoyed it. He contacted the folks at Body Armor. Part of the negotiations, the equity idea came up.
“I know I’m excited about it because I feel like I’m fully sort of vested in the future of the company and where it goes. I hope the Body Armor folks are excited as well.”
Luck isn’t known for doing many commercials. As a rookie, he had a deal with Pepsi and Gatorade, but explained in his 2013 interview that it was a one-year contract that ran out, hence he was free to promote Body Armor’s product.
Former Colts quarterback Peyton Manning is still the NFL’s No. 1 pitch man, earning $12 million annually last year, according to Forbes Magazine. Manning, in his fourth season with the Denver Broncos after 14 with the Colts, pitches Buick, DirecTV, Gatorade and Papa John’s pizza. The five-time NFL MVP became a Papa John’s franchisee in 2012, when he became an owner of 25 stores in the Denver area. While he discontinued with Reebok in 2014, thus ending a 12-year partnership, he added Nationwide to his portfolio.
Pagano was asked what the Colts say to players about endorsements.
“They understand that it’s all about the team,” the coach said. “There are certain things that come with success. I will stress to them every single day that they’re in the building to keep their life simple. Keep your plate as clean as you possibly can.
“The fewer distractions that you have, the more focused you’re going to be at being really good at your job. They know what their job is. It’s pretty plain and simple. I know what my job is. They know what their job is. Every one of them knows how they’re judged. I know how I’m judged, and they know how they’re judged. They all understand what the expectations are. We talk all the time about those type of things. We all understand what the priority has to be. Don’t spread yourself too thin.”
Phillip B. Wilson can be found on Twitter (@pwilson24), Facebook and Google+.