SBD/September 25, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

NFL Indicates Cam Newton's Usage Of Under Armour Facemask Clips Is Rule Violation

Newton was one of several Panthers wearing the UA clips in Sunday's game
NFL Dir of NFC Football Communications Randall Liu said Panthers QB Cam Newton's usage of Under Armour-branded clips on his facemask is a "violation of the NFL's uniform policy," as the clips "should be clear of all logos," according to Chris Smith of FORBES.com. Attached to each side of Newton's facemask are "what appear to be black pieces of metal or plastic" that feature UA's logo. Nike is the NFL's official apparel partner, and the league is "notoriously strict about uniform rules." A Panthers spokesperson wrote in an e-mail that the visor clips "should be in compliance with league rules because they are 'blacked out.'" UA upon Newton joining the NFL "rewarded him with an endorsement deal" reportedly worth more than $1M annually, the "largest ever for an NFL rookie." Newton has worn the same UA clips in all three games in '13. Smith wrote, "So far as I can tell, he’s has been wearing them since his very first NFL game" in '11 (FORBES.com, 9/24).

NO DISCIPLINARY ACTION YET: In Charlotte, Jonathan Jones notes, "There was no indication if Newton or other players would face fines, which are normally announced on Fridays." A source said that the Panthers' equipment staff uses the UA clips "because they're easier to manage." Photographs from the Giants-Panthers game Sunday "show no fewer than three other Panthers" -- RB DeAngelo Williams, DE Greg Hardy and DE Charles Johnson -- wearing the black UA clip (CHARLOTTE OBSERVER, 9/25).
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