SBD/Issue 62/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Brady's UGG Deal Latest Example Of Athletes Embracing Fashion

Brady Is One Of Many Athletes Who
Are Increasingly Embracing Fashion

Patriots QB Tom Brady "shocked sports fans on Nov. 30 with the announcement of his latest endorsement deal" for UGGs, but his "embrace of the fashion world is hardly a result of his marriage: It's all business," according to Raquel Laneri of FORBES. From Heat G Dwyane Wade to MLS Galaxy MF David Beckham, athletes are "embracing fashion more enthusiastically than ever." Esquire Fashion Market Editor Nic Screws: "Athletes are trendsetters and icons in their own right -- beyond the court or field." Laneri noted many athletes are "designers on the side," including Beckham and tennis players Maria Sharapova and Venus Williams. Screws said that "corporate sponsorships" are one reason for the "sudden surge in stylish athletes." Screws noted the relationship between fashion and sports "has grown over the years with big name brands stepping up and sponsoring or linking with sports stars for marketing purposes." Designers are "catching on too, with brands like Joseph Abboud regularly dressing" the NFL Giants. Laneri wrote, "While many of today's clotheshorses have a more subdued style, they still turn heads, influence style and move merchandise off the court. And on a whole, athletes are more aware in general of designers" (, 12/8).

SMART MOVE? In Boston, Christopher Muther writes Brady's deal to endorse UGGs is a "genius move on the part of the boot maker." For years, UGGs "has looked to young women to buy its bulky suede boots," but "now that the Kardashian sisters are no longer showing up in paparazzi shots wearing miniskirts and Uggs, it's time for the company to find a new market." Muther: "Why not men?" But "all of this is completely and utterly moot," as the "simple fact of the matter is that men do not emulate celebrities or follow trends the same way that women do." Muther: "When Brady appears in his first advertisement for Uggs, or is snapped wearing the boots walking around New York, men will not stream out in droves to snatch up Uggs" (BOSTON GLOBE, 12/9). Meanwhile, at the conclusion of ESPN's "PTI" on Tuesday, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon were seated with several boxes of UGG shoes placed on the desk. Kornheiser: "I am up to my eyeballs in UGGs. I want Tom Brady to come to this set and get rid of these shoes!" ("PTI," ESPN, 12/7).

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