Lamar Jackson: Is He Missing a Trick with Endorsements?

Lamar Jackson is officially the highest-paid player in the NFL. His $260 million deal with the Baltimore Ravens, worth $52 million a year for five years, elevates him to the top of the chart, and for good reason.

Jackson is only 26 but was MVP in 2019, and a host of other awards behind him. He has led the Ravens to an impressive 45-16 record during his tenure with them, and he ranks fifth in the all-time rushing yards among NFL quarterbacks. He’s seeking to bounce back from a challenging 2022 season affected by illness and injury, hoping to fire the Ravens toward Super Bowl LVIII. It’s been ten years since they won the Har-bowl, but anything is possible with Jackson on the team.

Marketer’s dream


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Jackson is a marketer’s dream, young, athletic, known around the globe, and able to command huge wages, which should, in turn, reflect in his endorsement deals. It’s a valuable secondary income for many players, with Rob Gronkowski one player who is a master of playing the brands. He has endorsements with Nike, Dunkin’ Donuts, Visa, T-Mobile, Lyft, Cheerios, BodyArmor SuperDrink, and Monster Energy, to name but a few. Thanks to savvy deals, Gronk even admitted he hasn’t spent a penny of the money he’s earned from playing football.

The same cannot be said for Lamar Jackson. Whilst he may well be hot property for the big companies, he doesn’t have a shoe deal, and you won’t see him promoting mobile phones or breakfast cereals. He’s achieved his current wage demands without the help of an agent, but that means he hasn’t got the sort of deals other players enjoy.

Lamar Jackson’s endorsements


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Jackson does have some endorsements, but very few. Whilst Gronk is thought to have around 30, Jackson has just two major brands he backs. The first is Oakley sunglasses, a brand he’s championed throughout his career. He’s been seen wearing their Coldfuse range and the Holbrook XL and spoken of wearing their products long before he hit the big time. He’s also the face behind their innovative face shields with Prizm™ Clear technology. He joins another great quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, as an ambassador for the brand.

Other than that, Jackson has limited exposure to big endorsements. He did feature in a Pizza Hut commercial in 2018, and he’s the face of the first-ever NFL and NFLPA-licensed VR game, NFL Pro Era. He has business investments – he recently invested money into a restaurant in Florida called Play Action Soulfood and More. However, when compared to almost all other top NFL players, his brand exposure through endorsements is very limited, partly because he represents himself with help from his mom, Felicia Jones.

Is he missing a trick?


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Jackson is at the top of the game right now, with a multi-million-dollar deal running for five years. He’s the talk of the NFL, and his performances warrant the hype. However, it has to be said that his earning potential is far greater than his salary, and with that in mind, perhaps he is missing out. For instance, Patrick Mahomes is relatively understated with his endorsements, but he has a deal with Adidas, another with Bose headphones, and features in commercials for State Farm Insurance.

It’s easy to point to Jackson’s lack of an agent, but there’s no lack of business savvy behind the Florida-born star. His huge deal with the Ravens attests to that, which suggests the lack of endorsements is down to choose rather than an ability to secure them.

That said, as Lamar Jackson becomes a global household name, there may be a realization that the eye-watering salary is only the tip of the iceberg, even if an agent is taking a slice of the pie. After all, half a million dollars is surely better than no dollars.

Ms Elle has a career in corporate communication and branding, spanning four continents over 30 years, with recent years pursuing sports marketing and media. She is currently dividing her time between Canada and Costa Rica and assists with the