By Barry Janoff
October 9, 2012: Cam Newton continues to fashion deals off the field even as he seeks to establish himself on the field.
The second-year quarterback for the NFL's Carolina Panthers has signed an alliance with Charlotte, NC-based department store chain Belk, Inc., to launch an exclusive line of men’s apparel.
The collection, MADE Cam Newton, will offer "fashion-forward, versatile, professional apparel options for men," which will be available in 133 Belk stores and on Belk.com this spring, according to the retail chain. In fall 2013, the collection will expand to include accessories and shoes.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Although marketing support was not discussed, Newton is expected to play a prominent role as the face of the clothing line in a multi-media effort that could include print, POP and Internet. The line already is being touted at such social media destinations as Facebook and Twitter.
“Professional sports play an increasingly important role in fashion, and as a fashion retailer, Belk is excited to be at the forefront of the trend through this brand,” Kathryn Bufano, president and merchandising officer for Belk, said in a statement. “Cam Newton personifies our company’s dedication to family, community and the Southern lifestyle, and therefore is a perfect complement to Belk’s modern Southern fashions.”
Added John Thomas, evp-private brands for Belk, “MADE Cam Newton is positioned among Belk’s 20 private brands, which seek to satisfy the modern Southern lifestyle of our customers. We are thrilled to be able to partner with one of today’s emerging style icons.” Belk, founded in 1888, has 302 stores located in 16 Southern states.
Newton, who has passed for more than 5,000 yards and thrown 25 touchdowns (as of NFL games through Oct. 7, 2012) as Carolina's starting quarterback since being drafted No. 1 overall in 2011, also has marketing deals that include Under Armour, Gatorade and Carolinas HealthCare System.
According to the 23-year-old Newton, “As a man born and raised in the south, I have always known Belk as a benchmark for quality apparel and a destination for clothing that is both functional and stylish. Developing a collection for Belk was a natural fit from the beginning, and we designed the MADE collection with an authentic approach."
Newton stressed that he was "happy to bring my vision to a clothing line that provides comfortable, on-trend clothing to men and that reflects my personal style.”
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