Who wins endorsement battle between Cam Newton and Peyton Manning?
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Who wins endorsement battle between Cam Newton and Peyton Manning?
Look, we get it. Peyton Manning is ancient in NFL years at age 39. After many injuries and surgeries in recent years, he floats his passes like a lame soccer player. Manning is staring down his last best shot at another Super Bowl ring while also trying to brush the haters off his legacy.In the other corner, Cam Newton, the Carolina Panthers' 26-year-old QB, is ebulliently smiling and dabbin' (look it up, Peyton) after posting the best season of his career and leading his team to a 15-1 regular season record. He's a shoo-in for MVP.But what about the off-field money? How do they stack up in endorsement deals? It turns out Newton's gaining ground there too.Manning was listed as this year’s top NFL player in endorsement deals valued at about $12 million, according to Forbes. Meanwhile, Newton's marketing value has never been higher, with off-field deals that Forbes estimates at about $10 million.A few of their deals — under review:The Baltimore-based athletic apparel company struck quickly when it signed Newton to a deal in his 2011 rookie season. Newton’s about to return the favor by showing off his gear at the Super Bowl.Look for Newton on the sidelines in between offensive series, and chances are you'll see him draped in his Gatorade towel. We see you, big guy.Newton's "Made" clothing line sold at Belk offers "fashion-forward, professional apparel for men," according to the Belk website. It's said to be very popular with short, schlubby fantasy football enthusiasts.If yogurt is manly enough for a 6-foot-5, 245-pound football player, it’s probably manly enough for you too. Boom. Dannon just gained the dude demographic.You may hate the jingle by now. Manning probably hates it too. But you know it, don’t you? "Nationwide is in your head ..."Manning signed a franchise deal for 25 Papa John's stores in the Denver area in 2012. You know who likes cheap pizza? Stoners do. You know what's legal in Colorado? That’s right - savvy business move by the veteran.Through these offbeat commercials, we've come to know Skinny Legs Peyton and Really High Voice Peyton. Not every athlete could pull it off, but Manning makes a compelling case for getting rid of cable.After ending a longtime deal with Reebok, Manning’s now on Team Nike, which once courted Newton.Manning's natural ease on camera, familiar drawl and self-deprecating sense of humor will serve him well beyond his playing career. Newton is young, handsome, charismatic and appeals more to coveted millennial consumers. Manning’s still the NFL’s top pitchman, but Newton could take the throne with a Super Bowl victory.

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Sources: Chicago Auto Show, Tribune reporting @ChiTribGraphics

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