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Irsay says deal with Luck is close, despite report of marketing dispute

Andrew Luck

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck smiles as he graduates from Stanford University during a graduation ceremony in Stanford, Calif., Sunday, June 17, 2012. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)


Jim Irsay’s Twitter feed continues to periodically provide something other than obscure song lyrics and various trivia contests.

The Colts owner most recently has used the social-media tool to dispute a report from Len Pasquarelli of the Sports Xchange that his team and quarterback Andrew Luck have encountered a “stumbling block” regarding the marketing language in Luck’s rookie contract.

“One source with knowledge of the talks even suggested that Luck would ‘have to clear’ marketing proposals with the club,” Pasquarelli writes.

Says Irsay in response: “As much as I respect my friend Lenny Pasquarelli[,] the ‘One Source’ is completely wrong[.] We’re close on #12 [and] final details [are] unrelated 2 marketing.”

As to Pasquarelli’s explanation that the Colts believed Luck’s predecessor, Peyton Manning, was “overexposed,” Irsay also takes issue. “It’s ludicrous 2 say we thought #18 was overexposed, he did a great job of focusing on football [and] “Branding” [was] incredibly positive Image 4 Franchise,” Irsay said.

And so Irsay concludes with the following observation. “Someone is being fed a big breaky of BS this morning!”

Though we have no inside information regarding the sticking points between the Colts and Luck’s agent-uncle (or uncle-agent), it would be odd for the team to try to restrict his ability to earn money in off-field endeavors. That said, we’ve heard in recent months that some teams have tried to secure for their individual sponsors a right to match any deals a player may do with a competitor.

If, for example, a team has a deal with Pepsi and a player receives an offer to endorse Coke, a team may try to secure the ability on behalf of Pepsi to swoop in and match the terms of the Coke offer. Other than that, it would seem unusual and improper for a team to try to put any contractual limitations on the player’s ability to sell his own image, name, and time.

And so Luck likely will be free to endorse whatever he wants to endorse, including the use of images of his Stanford graduation to be included in a campaign for online courses aimed at teaching rich, middle-aged white guys how to type legibly on Twitter.