In a campaign that’s sure to be a bit emotional, Gatorade is launching a new ad campaign honoring Peyton Manning as a player and as a person.

Titled “Dear Peyton,” people who have been important to Peyton Manning’s life sat down to share their feelings for the legendary quarterback who recently retired. From family members to teammates and coaches, to members of the media to people within Peyton’s charities, these people over the years received personal letters from Peyton over the years to let them know how much they mean to him. Now, those same people turn the tables to let Peyton know how important he means in their lives.

The overall commercial features Peyton’s dad Archie and brother Eli and his teammates Jeff Saturday, Brandon Stokley and Demaryius Thomas as well as Tony Dungy, but also features others close to him like Chris Mortensen, who is currently battling cancer and Derek Jeter.

There are a couple commercials which show Peyton’s giving side. One commercial features Pam Frenzel, mother of Tyler who became friends with Peyton while he was battling cancer. Tyler died and Peyton took time out to send Pam and her husband a handwritten letter when that happened. In the other, Peyton wrote a congratulations letter to Brandon Washington, the first winner of Peyton’s PeyBack Scholarship fund.

Coaches Tony Dungy and David Cutcliffe, Peyton’s QB coach at Tennessee and current head coach at Duke, talked about Peyton as the kind of person he is. Even his equipment manager at the Colts shared a letter he got from Peyton.

Peyton’s father Archie and brother Eli shared letters they got from Peyton through the years. Going from letters to Archie when Peyton was a kid and a letter to Eli on the day he got drafted into the NFL.

Peyton’s teammates from both the Colts and Broncos talked about their teammate and friend. His center partner at the Colts Jeff Saturday, his reliable wide receiver teammate at the Colts and Broncos Brandon Stokley as well as Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas ribbed Peyton a bit on his handwriting but also talked about how special it is for someone to take the time out to handwrite a letter in this day and age.

These commercials, along with this one from ESPN’s Chris Mortensen as Peyton talked to him about retirement and Mort’s current treatment for cancer, will be shown throughout the NFL Draft.

About Phillip Bupp

News editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing, highlight consultant for Major League Soccer as well as a freelance writer for hire. Opinions are my own but feel free to agree with them.

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