SBD/July 30, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Yankees Stars Receive Personal Workout Gear From Shoe Companies To Expand Brand

Swisher's shirt, made by New Balance, features the nickname "Nicky Swish"
The latest trend inside the Yankees clubhouse “is having personalized workout shirts -- unique, generally not-for-sale gear designed by shoe companies, given to top talent” like RF Nick Swisher, SS Derek Jeter and 2B Robinson Cano, according to Daniel Barbarisi of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. The shirts have “a specially designed logo on the front, usually adapted from the player's shoe line.” Jeter's displays “his name inside a shield, like a smaller version of Superman's distinctive ‘S,’" whereas Cano's “features the letters ‘RC’ in script.” Swisher's New Balance shirt features the words "Nicky Swish" across the front. In the clubhouse, the personalized shirt “has become a status symbol.” If you have the shirt, it “means you likely have a shoe deal big enough to have your own logo,” and you “have a name or a nickname big enough to be known right away.” A Nike spokesperson said that the company has “done personalization in various sports for about five years." Nike, New Balance and other companies "represent hundreds of baseball players,” but the personalized shirt “remains a relatively rare phenomenon in baseball.” Jeter has a deal with Jordan Brand, which "worked with him to design the shield logo." When Jeter “wanted new workout gear several years ago, he liked the Nike workout shirts -- and asked them to put the logo from his shoe brand onto the shirts.” New Balance Sports Marketing GM Marc Cavanaugh said that Swisher's shirt came out of efforts “to create a custom shirt line for fellow client [Red Sox 2B] Dustin Pedroia to wear, sell and use in charitable ventures.” New Balance is now designing shirts for Yankees CF Curtis Granderson, though Granderson said that he is “more likely to give them away for his charity, Grand Kids, than wear them daily like his peers” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/30).
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