This week, we took a look at the growing population of sneakerheads in the NFL, including a Sneak Peek into the extensive sneaker collection of San Diego Chargers safety Marcus Gilchrist. Previously, we discussed the absence of signature sneakers in the NFL, but with a burgeoning sneaker culture in the league, this may change. With the increased presence of PE cleats and players starting to receive their own sneakers, it is clear that more football athletes will be in line for special projects. One could reasonably assume that a quarterback could possibly be next to receive a signature due to the position’s overwhelming popularity. Three QBs have held the “highest paid in the league” moniker in this offseason alone, but it is four young signal callers that have received the most press. Two of those emerging gunslingers are the Washington Redskins’ Robert Griffin III, and Colin Kaepernick of the San Francisco 49ers. Though their respective paths have been a bit different, they both currently enjoy a great deal of popularity. With one being the face of a brand, and the other a known fan of sneakers, Nice Kicks examines the possibility of signature kicks for either. Take a look at the arguments for and against each player, and let us know who you think is Next in Line.
Shoe Company: Nike
Current Endorsements: MusclePharm, MoGo Sport, Jaguar
You can tell from the video below as well as off the field sightings that Colin Kaepernick is in the new wave of young sneakerheads. His love of sneakers has caused his collection reach approximately 350 kicks. One of the reasons this passion became public knowledge is his meteoric rise to fame. Kaepernick replaced the injured Alex Smith in Week 10 last season, and led the 49ers to the Super Bowl gaining many fans along the way. From According to NFL.com, Kaepernick had the best selling jersey from April 1 through June 30, proving his fan base has grown to an astronomical number as they anticipate this next season. With so many people interested in the young star, and his love for kicks becoming a topic of discussion, there is no doubt eyes will pan down to see what cleats he sports on the field, and what he laces up when away from the game.
Kaepernick has made it a point to be different. He does not want to be placed in a box like other relatively square quarterbacks. His marketing strategy ensures that, as he said he would only endorse things he actually uses and/or is interested in. For now, his Nike contract laces him with on-field apparel, but Nike now owns supplies the official uniforms of the NFL. The brand has slowly begun to give football players signature kicks. Now being a full time starter, having increased attention drawn to his sneakers and unlimited visibility, we would not be surprised if Nike signs him up as a signature athlete.
Being a part of the Nike team is great, but Nike has a large number of athletes on their roster. For instance, the majority of the NBA is signed to the brand, but only three players sport a signature shoe. True, Nike has a history of giving players, such as Michael Vick and Deion Sanders, their very own sneaker, but there has been reluctance for quite some time. Darrelle Revis and Calvin Johnson have both received off field trainers, but these two athletes have had years of excellence. Both players are arguably the best at their respective positions. Kaepernick has gained steam, but is not truly in the conversation regarding the best quarterbacks in the league. Fair or unfair, he may have a bit more to prove before a signature shoe is even a bullet point in a Nike board meeting. He faces the same deterrents as the rest of the NFL, along with not currently being the face of any notable brand. He is, however, the only athlete in the three major sports to endorse MoGo Sport flavored mouth guards. Does his acclaim garner a signature sneaker? Time will tell. It could be an uphill climb.