Favre’s photo folly may cost him $100 Million

They say a picture is worth a thousand words.

In Brett Favre’s(notes) case, it could be worth at least $10 million annually and over $100 million total in lost earnings post retirement.

Just as sports figures like Tiger Woods, Rick Pitino, and Ben Roethlisberger(notes) have irrevocably damaged their reputations and marketability as corporate endorsers and public speakers with their own sex scandals, so too now does it seem that Brett Favre’s future earnings stream from endorsements, speaking engagements, and work as a TV studio analyst have forever been diminished IF – and this is certainly still a big if – he is suspended by the NFL for sexually harassing a co-worker during his stint with the New York Jets in 2008.

And even if he’s not suspended, the long-term sting and embarrassment associated with this story may cause corporations, speaker series and TV networks to think twice about employing the services of the old gunslinger.

Click here for more from

More sports financial analysis from

Favre earned approximately $7 million last year through deals with Wrangler jeans, Snapper’s line of lawnmowers and Remington hunting rifles. He’s appeared in Nike, Starter, Smart Car, Prilosec and MasterCard commercials, playing off his family-man, 'good ole boy' persona.

And with retirement likely in store after the 2010 season (we think), Favre stood to earn significant revenue from public speaking and studio analyst work. People with Favre’s cache typically earn $25,000-$50,000 per speaking appearance. And given that fellow Hall of Fame quarterbacks like Dan Marino and Steve Young earn north of $1 million annually for their TV work, it would not be a stretch to surmise that Favre could similarly profit from a post-retirement career.

Unless embroiled in scandal. And the timing couldn’t be any worse in light of the fact that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has recently had to deal with the black-eye caused by the sexual transgressions of another high-profile quarterback in Roethlisberger with a four-game suspension. At least Big Ben has years left in his career to stay in the public’s conscious and try to prove that he has rehabilitated his character. Favre won’t enjoy that same luxury.

[Related: Tiger Woods' endorsements down millions in 2010]

All told, the next few days and weeks will go a long ways in determining the future earnings stream for Mr. Favre. Many that have respected Favre for his longevity, grit, energy and pigskin greatness hope like heck that these stories are false and exaggerated.

Of course, we said that after Tiger’s car crash and Ben’s birthday party. How did those stories turn out?

If Favre’s story ends the same way, he’ll forgo at least $10 million annually in lost earnings – or if we assume a 10-year post-retirement career as an endorser, speaker, and studio analyst, this amounts to potentially $100 million in lost earnings.

And that’s one picture worth just a single word.