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Friday, June 20
Updated: June 25, 3:33 PM ET
 
Buc(k)s haven't stopped for Gruden

By Darren Rovell
ESPN.com

Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Jon Gruden has emerged as the NFL's marketing MVP this offseason, taking home more than $1 million in business deals less than five months after his Bucs defeated the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl XXXVII.

Jon Gruden
Jon Gruden has been a winner in the endorsement arena since leading the Bucs to victory in Super Bowl XXXVII.
Gruden has signed a deal with Harper Collins to publish his book, "Do You Love Football? Winning With Heart, Passion and Not Much Sleep," co-authored by NFL writer Vic Carucci and due out in September. He also signed a one-year extension on his endorsement deal with Marriott, has licensed his name and image to Danbury Mint for use on a porcelain card, will be the spokesman for the Florida Citrus Department and commands at least $50,000 an appearance on the motivational speech circuit.

Gruden didn't waste any time to begin cashing in on the Bucs' 48-21 victory against his former team, as Gruden and Bucs quarterback Brad Johnson looked into the TV camera immediately after the game and told the world they were "Going to Disneyland."

"We started with a blank notebook after the Super Bowl," said Lynn Lamonte, Gruden's marketing manager. "And we finished with a notebook full of requests from people and companies."

But Gruden, known for his around-the-clock worth ethic, was selective with the opportunities he chose, leaving more than $1 million on the table, his agent said.

"Jon's a football coach," said Bob Lamonte, who also represents Eagles coach Andy Reid and Packers coach Mike Sherman. "All these deals came to us. If we had tried to push the envelope, we could have done much more. But he made it clear to us that he wanted to spend as little time as possible away from coaching."

Gruden, along with Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant and Texas Rangers shortstop Alex Rodriguez, made People Magazine's list of "The 50 Most Beautiful People in 2001.

"This guy is a phenomenon," Bob Lamonte said. "He's attractive, he's a great coach and he's only 39. That's why there are thousands of "Chucky" and "Got Gruden?" T-shirts everywhere."

Gruden only has two signing commitments to promote his book, which will include stories about his successful quest in leading the Buccaneers to the Super Bowl in his first year as their coach.

"There's never really been a story like this and it probably will never happen again," Bob Lamonte said. "Here you have a coach leaving a team on the verge of a Super Bowl, goes to another team and beats his former team."

With his similar hair color and his facial expressions, Gruden often is compared to Chucky from the "Child's Play" movies, but Lamonte said Gruden won't be drawing on the connection anytime soon.

"Jon isn't Chucky or Dennis the Menace, he's Jon," Lamonte said. "If we wanted to make some money, we'd come up with a Jon Gruden doll. It's not like the guy lacks an identity."

Darren Rovell, who covers sports business for ESPN.com, can be reached at Darren.rovell@espn3.com







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