SBD/Issue 209/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Tales From The Hood: Belichick's Fashions Boosts Reebok Sales

Belichick's Trademark Gray Hooded
Sweatshirt A Moneymaker For Reebok
The gray hooded sweatshirt Patriots coach Bill Belichick wears has "not only become a Belichick trademark, it's become a moneymaker," as Reebok VP/NFL Merchandising Kenny Gamble said that about 50% of "all NFL gray hoodie sales have included the Patriots logo," according to Mike Reiss of the BOSTON GLOBE. Gamble said that NFL head coaches have "specific guidelines on what NFL-sponsored Reebok apparel they should wear during games." However, Belichick "went off the script around 2002, deciding to wear the gray hoodie that was produced for players -- not coaches." The fashion choice initially upset some Reebok officials, but Gamble said, "After a while, our approach was, 'Let's not fight it, let's try to take advantage of it.' He's made that piece famous." Reiss noted Belichick recently was seen wearing a "blue throwback Boston Patriots sweatshirt," and once he was "spotted on local newscasts and photographed by local newspapers and websites, Reebok began experiencing a sudden demand for the sweatshirt that coaches will wear in games celebrating" the AFL's 50th anniversary. Gamble: "Unknowingly, and probably the last thing he cares about, he's kind of been a fashion icon" (BOSTON GLOBE, 7/19). PRO FOOTBALL TALK's Gregg Rosenthal wrote, "Clothing companies looking for an NFL endorser to move their product should stop looking at traditional choices like star quarterbacks. ... Look no further than Bill Belichick." Rosenthal: "It turns out the man known for his lack of fashion actually sells" (PROFOOTBALLTALK.com, 7/19).

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