Corporations Lining Up For Tomlinson's Services

It's been fun watching the America's perception of the Chargers change since 2001. It was in the 2001 that the lowly San Diego Chargers held the first pick in the draft. Instead of staying at #1 and taking a player (Many believed Michael Vick was a possibility), GM John Butler and his assistant AJ Smih decided to trade down a few spots and land Running Back LaDainian Tomlinson and then take Quarterback Drew Brees with their second pick.

This move almost single-handily started the turnaround here in San Diego. The team still struggled early in LT's career, but we saw flashes of brilliance from the explosive tailback. A raising star was emerging from ashes of what had become of the Chargers franchise, and he was turning heads around country.

It started a blips on the radar -- or more specifically, small clips on SportsCenter. LT's signature jukes and instinct for scoring touchdowns had fantasy football fans around the country talking about the guy from San Diego.

Tomlinson had personal success his whole career, but it has only been recently that the Chargers have become a winning franchise. With the team getting better around LT, his exposure to the American fans grew and grew. His humility, classiness, and work-ethic is widely appreciated around the country. He is respected by the media, and among his peers. These qualities, along with his brilliance on the football field, have lead LT to become a superstar in corporate America, where his growing list of endorsements is impressive:

“He's a modern-day hero,” said CBS correspondent Bob Simon, whose piece will air in the fall. “With all the scandals coming out of sports these days, here's a guy who's as good as anyone at what he does, and you can't find anyone who will say the slightest derogatory thing about him. He's not only squeaky clean – I mean, squeaky clean in this instance is almost a pejorative – he's just a really good guy.

“What impresses you most is how seriously he takes all his off-the-field endeavors and how committed he is to all that stuff. And how he's still a disarming kid from Waco (Texas). It hasn't gone to his head. That's somehow miraculous.”

With the help of Jim Trotter's piece at the Union-Tribune I have assembled a list of known endorsements that Tomlinson is involved with:

VIZIO Televisions
Campbell's Soup
Vitamin Water
Witt Licoln Mercury
Oggi's Pizza
Caldera Spas
Sony Computer Entertainment

While LT isn't quite on the level of a Tiger Woods or Michael Jordon (maybe because Golf and Basketball feats are more individually recognized? Or could LT's visor be to blame? ) but he could reach those heights with continued success on the football field in the NFL -- America's most popular sport.

May 27, 2007

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