Football players in Texas like to be different. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo signed an endorsement deal with Starter and former University of Texas quarterback Colt McCoy signed a deal with Russell.
Now, CNBC has learned, that Houston Texans running back Arian Foster, who leads the league in rushing, has signed an endorsement deal with Boombah, a shoe and apparel brand out of Morris, Ill., that started in the slowpitch softball space and has since branched out.
The interesting match was forged by Conor Sammartin, director of athlete marketing at Priority Sports, which represents Foster. Sammartin heard about the brand from his brother, who plays recreational softball.
Foster, who played running back at the University of Tennessee, went undrafted, but has since turned into a star for the Texans. The team's 4-2 record is the franchise’s best record through six games.
“Arian kind of came out of nowhere and we’re hoping to replicate that story in the sportswear and business world,” said Rick Tollefson, founder and owner of Boombah.
Tollefson said the brand is designing football cleats that will be available in a couple of months, meaning Foster likely won’t be putting them on his feet this season. Even still, if Foster does wear the brand next year, he’ll have to cover up the “B” logo, since Boombah doesn’t have a deal with the league. He will be used, however, to endorse apparel and Boombah's lifestyle product.
Tollefson said his business has steadily grown since he was literally selling shoes out of his garage seven years ago. He is in the process of moving to a 250,000 square foot warehouse (up from 100,000 square feet) to store his product. He sells directly to consumers, including over the internet. Boombah shoes generally retail in the $40 range.
As the Cowboys have faded to 1-4, Foster might be the most marketable football player in Texas now. He has signed deals with FedEx and EA Sports to make promotional appearances for them. He signed a deal with ProTips4U, a company that sells short videos of athletes educating young players on how to play certain positions. And he just signed an autograph card deal with Panini, though Priority Sports is currently weighing offers for an overall exclusive memorabilia deal.
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