There's basic team gear, then there's customized team gear.
Superstar athletes not only represent the backbone of any successful team, they can also make or break a sports apparel brand. That's why so many companies invest millions to sign the biggest names in sports; landing the right name can add tremendous value to a brand.
Knowing full well these implications, Under Armour goes above and beyond to create signature team gear for star athletes such as Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
In advance of last weekend's NFC Championship game, UA outfitted the likely 2015 NFL Most Valuable Player with a pair of unique cleats. From a distance, the footwear appears to be a set of the company's high tops spikes, designed to better protect the oft-scrambling Newton from ankle injuries compared to more standard models. However, a closer look reveals not only the signal-caller's brand insignia -- an emblem that incorporates his initials as well as his uniform number -- but the list of every one of Newton's Carolina teammates.
Cam Newton's pregame cleats have the names of his teammates. pic.twitter.com/FX4xKYY6Mi— NFL on ESPN (@ESPNNFL) January 24, 2016
It's little wonder why so many of Newton's peers seem to love and respect him. Though undeniably the star of the Panthers, he still tries to give his teammates some time in the spotlight. While NFL rules restrict players from sporting such footwear during games, Newton wore them proudly during warm-ups.
Under Armour has created custom team gear for its other stars as well. Reigning champion Stephen Curry received his first signature basketball shoe last season, the Curry One. Though hoop stars have worn name-branded footwear for decades, few expected Curry to receive his own line when he entered the league out of Davidson. In face, Nike and other companies passed on the opportunity to sign the 2014-15 MVP not once, but twice. UA's judgment proved wiser, as Curry has given the company a major presence in one of the biggest athletes in the world.
To complete its MVP trifecta, Under Armour also has hardball superstar Bryce Harper on its roster. Though the baseball apparel differs greatly from other sports, UA found a way to allow Harper to stand out. Years before he became one of MLB's most visible hitters, the company built an ad campaign around former No. 1 overall pick's unrelenting approach to the game. "I don't have 'gears,'" Harper claims in the commercial. "I play one way. That's all I've ever known."
Because of industry leading product development and smart talent acquisition, Under Armour has quickly become one of the biggest sports apparel providers in the world. It also has become the trendiest, with young athletes looking for their products more often than ever.
Having custom cleats built for your football or baseball team seams like a reach, but a brand new custom logo - the one you always wish you has is more achievable than ever. Open a "chat" with a SquadLocker Team Logo designer today to begin discussing the perfect logo for your team gear in 2016.