When Matt Leinart showed up to Arizona Cardinalscamp this week, he was wearing a different logo on his feet. The Nikes that he had been affiliated for his four years at USC and his first four years in the NFL had been quietly replaced by Reeboks.
It’s the first marketing move for Leinart since he ducked out of the world of sports endorsements as his profile diminished as the backup to the now retired Kurt Warner, who led the team to a Super Bowl appearance.
Gone are deals with Qwest Communications, Desert Schools Federal Credit Union and an contract with industry well-known autographs peddler Gary Takahashi of GTSM in Hawaii.
A 2009-10 season with a line that features one start, three interceptions and no touchdowns don’t usually get any bites from corporate America. But now Leinart is the firm No. 1 for the Cardinals and at least one company — Reebok — seems to have faith that Leinart is a worthwhile investment.
"This deal is really part of a new beginning for Matt."
Leinart’s agent Chuck Price told CNBC that the former Heisman Trophy winner and 10th pick of the 2006 draft signed a multi-year deal with the adidas-owned brand. He would not disclose how much the quarterback was getting paid.
“This deal is really part of a new beginning for Matt,” Price said. “It seemed like it was time for a change and the people at Reebok came in with a lot of enthusiasm as far as where they felt Matt was going to be in the future.”
Price said part of the deal that was enticing for Leinart was that he would be able to have access to more jerseys for his foundation, since Reebok makes the league’s official apparel.
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