By Barry Janoff
April 16, 2015: Boxing icon and sports legend "Sugar Ray" Leonard is lacing 'em up for a new team.
Leonard, who won numerous titles during his 20-year pro career, has signed a deal to appear in marketing for shoe and apparel company Skechers for the Relaxed Fit collection.
Skechers said that Leonard is the first boxer to appear in ads for the company.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
The 58-year-old Leonard joins a Skechers roster that currently includes Mariano Rivera, Joe Namath, Joe Montana, Pete Rose, Mark Cuban, Meb Keflezighi, actress/musician Demi Lovato and music legend Ringo Starr.
Skechers said that a global campaign with Leonard would break this Fall, to include TV, print, Internet and social media, and run through December 2016.
Leonard, who retired from boxing in 1997 with a record of 36-3-1 (25 KOs), currently does commentary on NBC Sports’ Premier Boxing Champions.
His other numerous endeavors include overseeing the Sugar Ray Leonard Foundation, which is "committed to raising funds for research and awareness towards a cure for Type 1 Diabetes and to help children live healthier lives through diet and exercise."
“Sugar Ray is a natural media magnet: his charm and charisma have kept him on the air for more than 30 years as America’s boxing icon,” Michael Greenberg, president for Skechers, said in a statement “Now that he’s delivering blow-by-blow commentary on NBC Sports’ Premier Boxing Champions series, it’s the perfect time for millions to see his signature style in Relaxed Fit footwear. We’re excited to have a champ like Sugar Ray in our corner.”
Details of his TV spot were not shared. Based on recent Skechers' campaigns (including Pete Rose "In the Hall"), it likely would have a humorous attitude that plays off a pro career that included wins over such boxers as "Marvelous Marvin" Hagler, Roberto Duran and Thomas "The Hitman" Hearns.
“Sugar Ray is a natural media magnet: his charm and charisma have kept him on the air for more than 30 years as America’s boxing icon."
Before turning pro, Leonard won the gold medal in the light-welterweight class at at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal, three National Golden Gloves titles, two Amateur Athletic Union championships and the 1975 Pan-American Games crown.
He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1997.
According to Leonard, “I am looking forward to being a part of this campaign with Skechers. I love going toe-to-toe with the best — and I’m ready to put on a pair of shoes as comfortable as Relaxed Fit and go a few rounds for this brand.”
A Skechers spot with Ringo Starr broke this week, and a new spot with Rivera is scheduled to be released soon.
Don't That Beat All: Ringo Stars For Skechers
Pete Rose Is In The Hall, Thanks To Skechers
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