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You’ve seen him and you’ve heard him, especially in the last few weeks. Stu Holden, the former USMNT player and member of prolific clubs from Sunderland to Bolton Wanderers and even MLS’ Houston Dynamo, isn’t only in the booth documenting the world’s most exciting matches, he’s also doing it in style.

The former player-turned-broadcaster became an ambassador for Lotto Sport Italia, a renowned football brand known for its premium leather cleats.

Stu Holden’s career as a professional player both in the United States and abroad, combined with his current position as one of the leading faces of soccer broadcasting made him an ideal partner as we look to build our talented roster of brand Ambassadors and further expand Lotto’s presence in the U.S.

Margaret Kivett, SVP of Lotto at WHP Global

Holden will appear in Lotto’s campaign creative as well as promote the brand through event appearances and social media.

“I’m incredibly excited to partner with Lotto, a brand I’ve had a connection to since I was 6 years old wearing their cleats in my early soccer years,” Holden said. “Lotto’s mission of growing the game at the grassroots level and supporting the next generation of athletes is something that I’ve been very passionate about throughout my personal life and playing career on and off the field. There is such great momentum around soccer in the United States, and I’m thrilled to join Lotto as we look to help the sport continue to grow.”

Lotto, the Italian brand worn by more than 40 soccer teams & over 300 professional soccer players, is capitalizing on the momentum that is the intersection of sneakers, soccer, and fashion.

We caught up with Holden to discuss the partnership, what he looks to bring to it for the next generation of fans, and more.

Read more below.

Nice Kicks: Soccer and sneakers are becoming prevalent now more than ever. What’s it been like for you as a player, analyst, and now ambassador for Lotto?

Stu Holden: Soccer, streetwear, fashion it’s all cool — you see a lot of players, broadcasters [adopt it]. It’s not boots, ties, and suits; people are expressing themselves & their personalities through sneakers and streetwear. One of the things I love doing is wearing a loud suit with some sweet kicks. I think it reflects your personality more.

To be able to do that with Lotto more with this partnership and seeing the way in which soccer in itself is a younger, hip sport. If you look at the average age of the soccer fan in the U.S., it’s the youngest age across sports. It’s the most popular youth sport in the U.S., and I think for Lotto to continue to get into that market and grow with it — there’s terrific momentum.

Even having my Lotto shoes on set in Doha and the number of comments I’m getting from not just coworkers and former teammates but the crew as well “oh I remember Lotto”; “I didn’t know Lotto made cool shoes like that.”

[Lotto] vibes with younger athletes and former athletes. And that’s one of the exciting things I’m looking forward to influencing with this partnership as an ambassador with Lotto — showing that off with a younger generation that cares about fashion and streetwear.

NK: What about Lotto and this partnership opportunity stood out for you?

SH: I wore Lotto cleats as a kid — I don’t think people in the U.S. saw the lifestyle component as well as this incredibly rich, luxurious, soccer Italian leather type of brand.

For Lotto, it’s [about] continuing to evolve and be a part of this wave of soccer and pushing alongside a sport that’s on a rocket ship here in the U.S. — the women’s game, the men’s game on this rampant for the next four years ahead of the 2026 World Cup.

There’s more investment, excitement, and attention to soccer than we’ve ever had in our history. The opportunity for Lotto in a genuine grassroots way from being with athletes to style and be the footwear of choice for this next generation. The brand isn’t just going to grow in the United States but [will] continue to grow globally and gain more exposure.

NK: Speaking of 2026, how important will the next World Cup be for not only the sport here in the States but for Lotto and the overall intersection of sneakers and soccer?

SH: The 2026 World Cup [will be] the mega event in soccer in North America. Even just being on the ground here in Doha, I don’t know how I continue to forget this every time, but you underestimate the power of the World Cup and the ability of the World Cup in soccer to unify and unite people.

Seeing the mixing of cultures, different people, and nations, it’s fun to see with such enthusiasm and passion. I think about the United States and what that will look like in a country that’s probably the biggest melting pot of cultures, the biggest media market, and combining that with a U.S. marketing market that’s frothing at the mouth to have the world’s biggest event here. It gets me excited.

Paired with Lotto and what we’re able to do in the next four years, I hope we can play our part in the development of the sport and find opportunities through the sport for the younger generation and their journey. To be a part of that alongside Lotto with the impact we can have and the potential that’s there to continue to grow the brand. 

NK: What does the Lotto partnership mean for you now and at this stage in your career?

SH: I was with a couple of different brands when I played. One of the things I was so excited about when I was approached with this opportunity within the Lotto family, they wanted to invest in me as who I am now. Of course, it’s the former athlete and the former soccer player but it’s also Stu Holden the family guy with two young kids who will be soccer players.

For me, in this second stage in my life, as a player and now the voice on TV at the World Cup and for the national team — who I am now — it’s fun and humbling to have the partnership with Lotto.

They want to invest in me as who I am and grow with me, invest in ideas that I have and be different, be bold and be strong in a market where there’s so much opportunity where we can connect with the next generation of soccer fans. 

Keep it locked on Nice Kicks and the sneaker release dates page for exclusive interviews, upcoming release dates, and more.

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