NFL star J.J. Watt to go unbranded on-field

14 April 2015 | Posted in Personal Endorsement, Football, North America, | By Ross Jones-Davies

NFL star J.J. Watt to go unbranded on-field

National Football League (NFL) star J.J. Watt has signed an endorsement deal with Reebok that will see the athletic apparel company provide his on-field footwear, despite not holding the rights to brand the cleats with the Reebok logo.

Reebok will supply the NFL defensive player of the year’s training and apparel equipment, in a ploy to benefit from the Houston Texans’ off-field marketability - Watt’s Facebook fan page has over one million likes, whilst his Twitter and Instagram accounts combine over 1.5 million followers.

Watts joins Reebok from Nike, whose exclusive uniform deal with the NFL prevents many of its rivals, including Adidas-owned Reebok, from appearing anywhere on the field during games.

As part of the new deal Watt will promote Reebok by posting updates of his training sessions. He announced the deal in a training video wearing his newly acquired Reebok shoes.

Reebok’s new ‘Be More Human’ campaign aims to urge consumers to reach their full potential, and Watt will be at the forefront of this drive.

"Kids treat athletes like superheroes and make you a role model," Watt told ESPN.com. "It's extremely important to me to remind kids that I was in their shoes and I was just like them and I accomplished what I did because I worked hard to pursue to my dreams."

Chris Waldeck, Reebok’s US vice president, alluded to the power of Watt’s presence in the marketplace by stating, "J.J. gives us instant credibility."

Watt won’t be the first Houston Texan to wear unbranded cleats on the field. Puma’s Jadeveon Clowney has a similar deal that also sees him wear unbranded cleats on game day.

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