Nike.  Reebok.  Under Armour.

These are the names most agents and NFL players think about when it comes to potential sports apparel endorsements.

Unfortunately, this is a mistake that absolutely kills an agent’s abilities to land endorsement deals for athletes, because there are usually smaller companies in the same industries that could very well be good partners for the player and their brand.

Arian Foster Foster finished the 2010 season by winning the rushing title with 1,616 Rushing yards. (Image – ICON)

Related: Branding Athletes 101 – It’s Not as Hard as You May Think


Think about it.  Who do you think might be more hungry to add a professional athlete to their marketing scheme?

Reebok or Nike, who has countless other athletes, or Joe Schmo’s Sports, who just launched last year?

Related: Athlete Endorsement Tips – What it Takes to Land an Endorsement as a Pro Athlete


It’s wise for player’s and their agents to search for these types of companies, and then send endorsement proposals about how the player could be a good fit image-wise for these companies.

It doesn’t hurt to try.

Besides, why just sit and wait for someone from Nike to call?  Your pro football career is short.  You need to get as much money as you can, as soon as you can.


Related: Broke Pro Athletes – How to Avoid Being Another Statistic – Part One


Arian Foster and Boombah

In 2010, Arian Foster, the 2011 Pro Bowl running back for the Houston Texans, signed a deal with little-known Boombah, a sporting apparel company out of Illinois.


Now since Boombah doesn’t have a deal with the NFL, Arian has to cover-up the company’s logo on his shoes in games, but it’s an endorsement deal nonetheless.

Related: 4 things Every Future NFL Player Should Know About Endorsements – Part One


Now don’t get me wrong, to get an athletic apparel endorsement, you still have to produce on the field and be a stand-out player.

By no means am I implying that this concept opens the door for lower-level players to get deals with sports apparel companies.

Arian won the 2010 rushing title and went to the 2011 Pro Bowl, so he’s the cream of the crop right now.

I think he’s definitely the caliber of player that a Nike, Reebok, or Under Armour would go-after, they just never did for whatever reason.

Maybe they did, I’m not his agent so I wouldn’t know.

So shake that old mindset of only thinking about the big boys.

Sports apparel endorsement deals for athletes are indeed rare, but if you’re a high-performing player, consider doing a little Google searching for some start-up sports apparel companies that just might be happy you called.

What do you think is key to landing an endorsement deal?  Leave a comment!


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