Brady steps out in UGG endorsement deal

By making Tom Brady the centerpiece of a new advertising
campaign, UGG is hoping to show its furry footware isn’t just for
teenage girls anymore.

Maybe they should have looked a little deeper into Brady’s
background.

The football icon has always been more of an iconoclast when it
comes to style, with choices that have turned him into the target
of some (mostly) good-natured ribbing in the locker room. The
two-time NFL Most Valuable Player was photographed for a men’s
magazine cradling a goat in his arms and caught at carnival in
Brazil sporting a ponytail – looks more in line with UGG’s old
demographic than the new one it is trying to court.

And then there’s the Justin Bieber haircut.

As one Twitterer said, ”Ugh, indeed.”

But the company, which actually started out making sheepskin
boots for men to wear after surfing, believes it has found the
right guy, calling the husband of supermodel Gisele Bundchen ”a
leader who is distinctive, authentic, and has effortless grace and
style.” In a television ad scheduled to debut during the Patriots
season-opener against the Miami Dolphins on Monday night, the
quarterback models a handful of men’s UGG shoes, boots and
slippers.

”Our goal is to introduce men to the UGG experience through
this campaign by pairing the rugged, masculine design sensibility
of our collection with the unique comfort you get only when you put
your foot inside our shoes and take a few steps,” UGG Australia
president Constance X. Rishwain said in a release.

The TV commercial called ”Steps” – a 60-second version was
released online in advance – has music from hip hop artist Mos Def
in the background while Brady walks, runs and drops back on the
sidewalk in a variety of UGG shoes. He does not speak, and his face
is rarely shown until the end of the commercial, when he stares
dimple-chinned into the camera from a football locker room.

It’s the first broadcast commercial for UGG, which is a division
of Deckers Outdoor Corporation. Corresponding print ads are
scheduled to run in a handful of men’s and sports publications, and
the campaign also includes online content and billboards and ”Tall
Walls” in Los Angeles, Boston and New York.

One ad near Madison Square Garden in Manhattan is about 10
stories high, featuring Brady, arms crossed, with jeans and a stern
look.

Brady has chosen to accept fewer endorsement opportunities than
other high-profile athletes like LeBron James or Tiger Woods. And
unlike rival Peyton Manning, who is as ubiquitous on NFL broadcasts
during the commercial breaks as he is during the game, Brady has
opted for smaller, targeted campaigns like Stetson cologne, Movado
watches and Audi.

When it comes to his new kicks, the three-time Super Bowl
champion is a good corporate soldier.

”It was always my favorite Christmas present to get,” the
company’s release quotes him as saying. ”I have been wearing the
UGG for a long time.”

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