The NFL is notoriously straight-laced (pardon the pun) when it comes to regulating player appearances on the field. Want to a wear a brand not affiliated with the NFL as a sponsor? Stricly a no-no. Want to customize gear and/or share a written message with fans using any part of the uniform? Go for it, just expect a hefty fine and stern condemnation from the league office.
However, last year, the NFL actually encouraged its players to wear cleats customized with a message supporting causes each player supports for one week. It was a great way to raise not only awareness but also money for causes ranging from mental health, ALS, cancer and animal welfare to children who need reading glasses (see Von Miller, Denver Broncos). Cleats were then auctioned on the NFL’s official auction site (yes, that is really a thing) with proceeds going to each respective charity.
The initiative was a smashing success. This year, the NFL’s “My Cause, My Cleats” program is back, and the message is being amplified using all of the league’s marketing might. According to the league, more than 800 players will showcase their causes this weekend. This year, the NFL even celebrated “Unboxing Day”, where teams and players were encouraged to unveil their custom cleats through various online and social media platforms.
Overall, the #MyCauseMyCleats is a fantastic program that generates an overwhelmingly positive response from fans. Look for the league to build on the program’s momentum as they continue to look for ways to position the brand more favorably in the minds of consumers.
For More Info:
Custom Cleats List
Click here to see a slideshow featuring some of the custom cause-related cleats players will wear this weekend.
Click here to see teams and players unveiling their custom cleats from the NFL’s website.
“NFL’s Cleats for a Cause”
Click here to read ESPN’s recap of the league’s Cleats for a Cause program.
NFL’s auction site
Click here to link to the NFL’s auction site to see bids on the game worn cleats from the #MyCauseMyCleats initiative.