Per a release by Berk Communications, Roc Nation Sports and Zappos announced a first of its kind sponsorship deal with NFL Draft prospect Ronnie Stanley. The deal between the online shoe retailer and the consensus All-American and standout offensive tackle at Notre Dame allows Stanley to choose which brands to wear, rather than the traditional endorsement deal between a player and one brand. In this deal, he will be able to choose from the over 1,000 footwear, clothing and accessory brands. “Most guys do a shoe deal and they don’t have any flexibility because they are tied to who paid them,” said Stanley. “I can do whatever I want.”
The deal was a result of Roc Nation’s CEO Connect Program, which is lead by President and Chief of Branding and Strategy, Michael Yormark. This program matches influential CEOs with Roc Nation clients to serve as mentors and establish business relationships for the future. When he signed with Roc Nation, Stanley took part of the CEO Connect Program and met with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, with whom he had a commonality – Las Vegas origins. Stanley was particularly impressed with the company’s involvement in the Vegas community.
The 6-foot-6, 315-pound lineman is listed as the number 2 offensive lineman in both Mel Kiper and Todd McShay’s draft boards said he is most likely going to wear either Nike or Under Armour (who Notre Dame has a deal with). However, given his sponsorship flexibility and the unique nature of the deal, he can change brands and models every week or even in-game. If he wants to have the shoe’s logo showing while on the field, he will have to wear Nike, adidas or Under Armour, which have deals with the league.
This deal marks the first time that Zappos has had an endorser for the site. In return for Stanley promoting his relationship with the company, which also includes off-filed lifestyle shoes and apparel, he will get an undisclosed amount to shop for friends and family. This stipend is similar to the deals players sign with Nike, Under Armour and adidas.
For more on this deal, head to the Zappos site blog to see the announcement here.