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Ray Lewis' MVP performance in the Super Bowl has done nothing to appease Corporate America's recent waning interest in athlete-as-sponsor.
In fact, Lewis may have only added to the negative aura, some experts say.
Years ago, athletes were everywhere, endorsing everything. But companies have gradually pulled back _ Tiger Woods notwithstanding _ because of the drumbeat of negative publicity about athletes' off-the-field activities and nagging questions about whether firms get their money's worth from big-name endorsers.
More often than not, companies are willing to forgo the compelling edginess an athlete can deliver to the image of a product _ as Jim McMahon once did _ or are bypassing the story of an athlete climbing out of a dark past.
Take Jennifer Capriati's comeback after a drug arrest several years ago to win her first Grand Slam tennis tournament last week. Many experts say that although …