Because they can, mega-rich athletes also endorse and endless stream of products, from shoes and apparel to insurance, food, energy drinks and credit cards. For the most part, the pitches are tastefully done and non-intrusive. Some athletes are even engaging and funny. Who knew?! However, because they are mega rich, and have agents, judgement gets cloudy and all of a sudden an all-star athlete becomes the punch line to a product pitch joke. Joe Namath, who never met an endorsement he didn’t like, pretty much started the whole celebrity/athlete pitches-gone-horribly-wrong genre. Only a Dandy like Namath could even envision himself talking up the virtues of Hanes Beautymist panty hose. Seriously. And let’s not forget long retired Yankees’ great Joe DiMaggio. The Yankee Clipper infamously grandstanded for Mr. Coffee in a series of really bad commercials in the 70s, putting a blemish on his Hall of Fame career.
Hulk Hogan is no stranger to being a sell-out. The most well-known professional wrestler of all time has certainly made millions over the years, both in the ring and outside of it. Of course, most of that money is now his ex-wife’s. There was “Pasta-mania”, the Hulk Hogan Thunder Maker (whatever that is), a not-as-famous-as-Foreman kitchen grill, plus a slew of TV shows and hosting gigs, including the immediately failed remake of American Gladiators. But topping the list is this commercial for Japanese company Hitachi. More known these days for televisions and stereos, it would appear Hitachi had the Hulkster hawking an air conditioner. By singing off key. About the days of the week. Who knows? Japan is a crazy place.