By Jamie Tredwell
What do barbecue sauce, vineyards and candy bars have in common? Athletes. That's right, they're things
that sports figures and personalities endorse, own or pitch. And why not? Why should celebrities like
Paul Newman or reality TV stars corner food endorsements?
After years of tackling, slugging or racing at extreme speeds, and putting their bodies on the line, you can't
really blame athletes for using their fame and success to sell a few candy bars, or for packing on the pounds
by eating ribs drenched in a barbecue sauce they're peddling. Why shouldn't they nurture grapes and make
wines they can sip, feet kicked up, admiring their name on the label?
|Slideshow: Ten athlete food brands|
So here's a list of 10 professional athletes, past and present, who have used developed food brands. Of
course, there are famous ones, like Reggie bars, named for the "Straw That Stirs The Drink," and another
baseball legend's chocolate treat namesake, Babe Ruth's Home Run Bar, not to be confused with Baby Ruth
bars, named after President Cleveland's daughter.
Like these two candy bars, many have been discontinued though avid collectors have kept them in
circulation, so their packages, ads, and wrappers can still be found online. But plenty are sold in stores today, like Fred Smoot's energy bar, and a few like Peggy Fleming's wines and Andre Reed's barbecue sauce even donate a part of their profits to local charities.
Mr. October allegedly said before joining the Yanks that if he were to play in New York he would have a candy bar named after him. Sure enough, the Reggie! bar was made by the Standard Brands Company to celebrate the '77 World Series.
The Fridge BBQ Sauce
Certainly not the only NFL player to make his way into the barbeque world, William "The Refrigerator" Perry also created his own line of finger-licking barbecue sauce. The defensive lineman shocked the crowd in Super Bowl XX when he played offense and actually scored a touchdown! "The Fridge" is trying to garner that same excitement with his sauce. He might start by hiring someone to take better pictures than the ones on his site picturing it laying on sod.
Over The Middle All Purpose Sauce
If there's anyone to trust with barbecue sauce, you'd think it would be an NFL player. Former Buffalo Bills and Washington Redskins wide receiver Andre Reed's "Over The Middle" All Purpose Sauce was developed because of his reputation as a receiver. The company is currently working on releasing an OTM Wing Sauce, but that has yet to hit stores. The original sauce can be found in select stores, or online here. Portions of the proceeds go to Second Mile, a children's foundation in Philadelphia, the Boys & Girls Club of Allentown, and the Kids Escaping Drugs Campaign -- not bad reasons to sauce up your next meal.
SMACK Energy Bars
You may remember NFL player Fred Smoot from his Love Boat scandal back in 2005 when he and 17 other Minnesota Vikings teammates allegedly hired prostitutes to perform sex acts on a cruise. He has moved on to a new team, the Redskins, and left the Love Boat days behind for a new business enterprise: Candy. Smoot developed a line of SMACK energy chocolate bars that incorporate more than 10 vitamins in a heap of dark chocolate and honey. Find them in select stores in Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, and Mississippi, or order online here.
Fleming & Jenkins Wines
Three-time world champion figure skater Peggy Fleming, who won Olympic gold for ladies' singles in the '68 Olympics, opened her own vineyard and winery in California's Santa Cruz Mountains. Her wines include the 2007 Choreography (a mix of five Bordeaux varieties), the 2010 Victories Rosé, and the 2009 Jenkins Vineyard Chardonnay. Fleming, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1998, donates a portion of the profits from each bottle of Victories Rosé to breast cancer research, and has raised more $45,000. That's drinking for a cause!