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Cam Newton set to overtake Peyton Manning … as the NFL’s top pitchman

(Chris Keane/AP Images for Panini)

The Carolina Panthers’ run to the Super Bowl has been good for the business of Cam Newton. How good? A million dollars good.

Carlos Fleming, Newton’s agent, told Bloomberg Business’s Scott Soshnick that Newton has received $1 million in bonuses from his endorsement deals for helping lead the Panthers to the Super Bowl. That puts his annual endorsement haul to $11 million, within spitting distance of the NFL’s top pitchman and Newton’s fellow quarterback in Super Bowl 50: Peyton Manning, who makes $12 million per year in endorsements.

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And if Manning retires after this season, as many expect, Newton could be poised to become the commercial face of the NFL: At $11 million, he’s tied for second in endorsement money with New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (who also probably isn’t long for the game).

Fleming told Soshnick that Newton is poised to add “one or two” more endorsements, plus a memorabilia deal. His current deals with the likes of Gatorade, Microsoft and General Motors also are likely to get extended, as Under Armour did before the season began. This seems likely to push him past Brees and into the NFL’s No. 1 spot (again, if Manning retires).

But Newton (or Manning, or Brees) have nothing on the world’s most-compensated athletic pitchmen and -women. Tennis legend Roger Federer earned $58 million in endorsements last year, Forbes reports, and Tiger Woods earned $50 million for barely playing golf. LeBron James is the top-ranked pitchman in terms of U.S. team sports, at $44 million.

Heck, Newton even trails Indian cricket star Mahendra Singh Dhoni, at $27 million.