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ESPN Investigated Drew Brees' Endorsement of AdvoCare

Drew Brees is a lead spokesman for energy drink and supplement company AdvoCare. An ESPN Outside the Lines investigation looked into AdvoCare’s “direct sales” or “multi-level marketing” operation.

Per ESPN’s data, AdvoCare has a roster of 517,666 distributors. Just 2,806 distributors earned more than $10,000 in 2014. Only 318 earned more than $100,000.

ESPN says AdvoCare cut a claim the company “offers the average American the chance to make an above-average income” from a promotional video after being contacted about its business model.

Brees credited AdvoCare products with “prolonging his career.” He disputed to ESPN the claim that AdvoCare was a pyramid scheme (a description from the SEC).

“It’s actually a direct-sales business model,” he says, noting that many distributors, like his wife, sell the products “casually.” He says he’s comfortable with AdvoCare salespeople using his name to legitimize the business. “In fact,” he adds, “I take it as a great honor and responsibility to uphold the values of the company.”

Other athlete endorsers in the NFL include Philip RiversAlex SmithJason Witten, and Andy Dalton.