Houston Texas' J.J. Watt and Arian Foster Making Money Outside of Football

By Cooper Welch
J.J. Watt, Lisa Salters and Arian Foster
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

They were already two of the more popular players on the Houston Texansand thanks to new endorsement deals signed by both of them this week, that meteoric rise to fame could continue until they’re among the most popular in the NFL.

Arian Foster, who recently received a huge new deal from the Texans, already has contracts with Kroger, Under Armour, wristbands.net, EA Sports Madden NFL 12, FUSE Science, Joe Myers Ford & Lincoln, Elite Life Training and Mobli. He also involved with multiple charitable organizations, such as the Boys & Girls Club of America and NFL Pink. These endorsements have steadily contributed to his rise in popularity and to his jersey being extremely popular as well. It was the 19th-most popular jersey sold in October 2012.

Now Foster is going Hollywood. According to a Hollywood Reporter story that broke on August 15, Foster has signed with William Morris Endeavor, one of the two largest film, entertainment and sports agencies in the United States. Foster has appeared in an episode of Hawaii Five-O and more recently filmed a larger role in Draft Day as Ray Jennings, a college running back hoping to become a first-round pick in the NFL. The movie is directed by Ivan Reitman and stars Kevin Costner as general manager of the Cleveland Browns.

In addition to film and television work, WME will also assist Foster’s marketing and brand building, and help him explore opportunities in literature, music and digital media.

J.J. Watt is still on his rookie deal, but he’s still doing pretty well money-wise. His rookie deal is for four years at $11,237,498, and he also added endorsement deals with Yahoo! Sports and H-E-B in 2012. But the deal that could lead to the most popularity is probably the one he just signed.

ESPN and Watt partnered together to make a new commercial for the broadcast company’s “It all comes down to Monday night” ad campaign. The spot features Watt talking to himself and picking up a fumble, saying “It’s Monday night. I’m about to get that ball, and the whole world is going to see it: Ken, the guy I used to deliver pizza to. Ken Norton Jr. Ken Griffey Jr. Definitely Kenny Loggins.”

The commercial shows a shot of a guy getting a pizza as “Ken”, old game tape of Norton Jr. and a picture of Griffey Jr., and then switches to Loggins singing a parody of his song “Footloose” before going back to Watt picking up the ball.  ESPN had to obtain permission from Griffey and Norton to use their names, and the key to making the storyline work was catching up with Loggins, who agreed to film his contribution during a day off from touring.

The commercial, made by ESPN’s long-time partner Wieden + Kennedy, will air during the weeks leading up to the season opener along with similar ads featuring Roddy White of the Atlanta Falcons and Brandon Marshall of the Chicago Bears.

With these deals and their continued success on the field, Watt and Foster should help the Houston Texans remain one of the top five most valuable franchises in the NFL.

Cooper Welch is a Houston Texans writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @cooperwelch1991, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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