Tom Brady Stars in New Under Armour Ads

New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is now the highest profile team-sport athlete to stand behind Under Armour.

The three-time Super Bowl champ signed a multiyear endorsement deal with the sports-gear brand, which includes an undisclosed financial stake in the company, after his Nike agreement ended this summer.

Brady will appear in Under Armour’s in-store and print ads starting in January and TV commercials next summer. He’ll wear Under Armour clothing and footwear for training and debut a new customized cleat.

Under Armour, whose NFL roster includes Pro-Bowl wide receivers Miles Austin and Anquan Boldin, had wanted to add a QB this year, said Matt Mirchin, senior vice president of sports marketing.

“Tom Brady was a clear choice,” he said. “About two years ago, he was at an event with (founder) Kevin Plank, and Tom loved the fact that Kevin was an ex-player and the entrepreneurial spirit and culture of the company.”

Under Armour is the official sponsor of the NFL Scouting Combine and the league’s on-field cleats supplier. Starting in 2011, players also will be able to wear its football gloves on the field.

The highest-paid NFLer at $18 million per season, Brady also makes an estimated $7 million to $10 million in endorsements for brands including Smartwater and Xfinity, according to Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing. Signing a top athlete is a big statement for a brand that competes with the likes of Nike, Adidas and Reebok, president Marc Ippolito said.

And Brady’s equity stake in Under Armour is unusual, he noted. The stock in the cash-and-stock deal will be passed to Brady over a four-year period.

“He was presented with an opportunity from Under Armour that obviously was impressive,” Ippolito said. “He had the chance to be ‘the guy’ vs. Nike, which has a stable of athletes from Michael Jordan to Tiger Woods.”

In a statement, Brady said it was important to align with a brand that shares his values.


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