Gucci, Adidas Originals and the future of football sponsorship deals: Grealish, Williamson and Rashford lead the way

Earlier this year, football rumors ran wild. This kind of speculation usually means a major contractor or a manager in danger of being fired, but this time we focused on potential endorsement deals. Riche signed a seven-figure contract with Gucci and was ready to make him an “official ambassador.”

In May, Grealish appeared to confirm the rumors in an interview with The Face. and told the story of his father buying a Gucci wash bag as a gift to join the Aston Villa first team. “I was only 16,” he told the magazine. “Go back there!”

This move is moot because of the wash bag from 10 years ago. Gucci is known for working with unexpected collaborators and ambassadors, and its Friends of the House include musicians (Harry Styles and Celeste), actors (Jared Leto and Dakota Johnson) and artists (Ignasi Monreal). and Coco Capitan), often including Chef (Massimo). Bottura). Trainspotter, even Francis Bourgeois, is a regular participant in fashion shows.

The list shows just how extensively Gucci is throwing the net when it comes to Ambassadors, but the Grealish signing is still the first time they’ve worked with a footballer. With a formal entry into the new market and complete with a direct link to Grealish’s rapidly growing 5.2 million Instagram followers, the brand will follow suit with Lioness captain Leah Williamson. Just signed another “big deal.” Williamson shared behind-the-scenes photos with iD magazine as a special guest at the Gucci Cosmology show.

Both Grealish and Williamson were apparently signed in part because of their footballing prowess, but sponsorship deals also depend on who they are off the pitch. Athlete leader and current European Champion, she is also a strong advocate for women’s and girls’ access to sport. This ties in with Gucci’s own Chime for Change program, described as a “global campaign to gather, unite and strengthen voices for gender equality.”

Jack Grealish Manchester City 2021-22 GFXGetty/Goal

Grealish, meanwhile, have built a close bond with their fans through a down-to-earth approach, including celebrating their Premier League win at the end of last season. Throughout his career, Grealish has been more outspoken, laughier, and more approachable than most Premier League and international footballers, drawing him to Gucci’s own ideals. Became the face of the campaign and photographed him holding a chicken at his local Chippy.

In that sense, both of these partnerships are driven by player values, not just player reach. Gucci isn’t the first luxury brand to do this with football’s endorsement, his one of the most famous examples being his contemporary mouthpiece, Marcus Rashford. He made a deal with Burberry to “defend the power of giving back.” In a statement announcing the partnership, the London-based label said Rashford’s “work to support young people in the UK is at the heart of the partnership and embodies a commitment to community and beyond.” I will.”

Away from the direct influence of Williamson and Grealish, Gucci’s decision to enter the world of football also helps it lead in a growing field, since David James modeled for Armani in 1995. , the overlap of fashion and football has come a long way. Today, players often participate in fashion shows, and sometimes even participate themselves. In many ways, Hector Bellerin, his OG of the new generation of hipster footballers, will model for Louis in 2019, and Trent will be his Alexander, his Arnold in 2021. Bottega appeared in his Veneta campaign. Everton teammate Tom Davies in New York in early 2020. His fashion has been the darling of most fashion magazines since he went to Week.

This relationship also extends to products. The brand has been keen to incorporate football aesthetics into its collections, with Balenciaga particularly football-influenced looking black from his leather football boots to his Borussia Dortmund away kit. We’ve got you covered, right down to jerseys. Gucci also collaborated with Adidas Originals earlier this year, with Terrace a nod to his culture and a campaign featuring Paul Pogba, Selj Gnabry, Jude Bellingham and David He Alaba.

Paul Pogba FranceGetty

So Gucci’s partnership with Grealish and Williamson makes sense in many ways. On the surface, it gives the Italian luxury brand a foothold in the football industry and the credibility of his two global talents with a unique platform and reach.

But more than that, Gucci is able to work with players who share its values. Both Grealish and Williamson are young, progressive, and unafraid to be themselves. In this sense, this partnership between his two footballers and his one of the world’s biggest fashion houses is based on principle rather than mere reach. In an era where players feel more empowered to stay true to themselves than ever before, this could be the future.

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