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How Manny Pacquiao's Brand Name Was Saved in the U.S.

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Manny Pacquiao has been a star in the ring for years. His endorsement status may soon match that. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Manny Pacquiao has been a star in the ring for years. His endorsement status may soon match that. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
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The New York Times has a really interesting piece up on Manny Pacquiao's long inability to find suitable endorsements in the United States, and the woman who is saving his brand name.

Lucia McKelvey was hired by Top Rank to sort out the brand name of Manny Pacquiao, and recently we've seen Pacquiao signed to an endorsement deal with Hewlett-Packard, with, reportedly, more major and respectable deals on the way (including, apparently, some type fighting video game).

At one point, the article says, "30 to 50 friends" were all claiming to represent Pacquiao, and would often make cold calls (sometimes to the same company). In time, Pacquiao's credibility with advertisers including Gatorade and EA Sports suffered dramatically, before McKelvey stepped in to essentially save the day once hired by Top Rank.

Pacquiao's portfolio in North America has never matched his popularity. He ended 2010 as the most searched athlete on Yahoo, ahead of Tiger Woods. In the Philippines, he endorsed McDonald's and San Miguel beer, among other major partners. Yet while his Davie-Brown Index rating, which measures a celebrity's influence on consumers, ranks above all current boxers, McKelvey said the deals he had here and the way they were structured were comparable to a lesser-known L.P.G.A. golfer.

Really think about the amount of money Pacquiao has been leaving on the table for the last few years with terrible endorsement management when you read this article. Manny makes more than enough to survive (his guaranteed $20 million on Saturday should tide him over for a bit alone), but it's staggering to think of how mismanaged his career has been from this end.