SBD/December 12, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Panthers QB Cam Newton Enjoying Foray Into Fashion With Cleats, Men's Line

Newton has been known to wear super hero-inspired shoes before games
NFL players like Panthers QB Cam Newton have been "playing footsies with the rules" on what can be worn on the playing field, and cleats have "become contested territory," according to Bee Shapiro of the N.Y. TIMES. Newton has "found a way to skirt the rules without running afoul of the league." About a year ago, and "with his design input, he began wearing custom Under Armour cleats in Superman colors, but only during the pregame warm-up." Under Armour Senior VP/Global Sports Marketing Matt Mirchin said that the NFL allows players to "wear different cleats up to 90 minutes before kickoff." He added that otherwise, any cleats "need to be submitted to the NFL nine months ahead for approval." Newton said, "It may not be legal to wear for the game, but -- and this is an old cliché with a lot of athletes -- 'If I look good, I’ll play good.'" He added, "It was really a statement. When I initially saw them, I was like: 'What are people going to think? Is this going to rub the people the wrong way?' But I’ve been getting nothing but love. It’s pretty cool to be just affiliated with this type of press." Newton has been "tickled by the fashion attention," and he "pushed it further this season: wearing pregame cleats featuring the Superman logo, the Incredible Hulk, and two Sundays ago, Batman, which were lauded on sports and social media sites." But there is "more to come on the fashion front" for Newton. This spring, he "debuted his men’s wear line, Made Cam Newton." He often "wears his designs for the postgame news conferences, especially the three-piece suits." Newton: "It’s the player’s option, though. Another player may say, 'I’m a dressed-down type player.' My option is I want this to be perceived as Cam Newton" (N.Y. TIMES, 12/12).
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