Special to NYSportsJournalism.com
April 1, 2014: MLB players Evan Longoria, Ryan Howard, Matt Moore, Mike Napoli and Jean Segura have joined a roster that comes as close to being on an all-star team without being voted on to the official All-Star Game roster.
The five players have signed deals with sportswear and athletic shoe company New Balance to wear the brand's cleats on the field and to appear in marketing and other activations for the Boston-based company.
New Balance also said that it has re-signed C.J. Wilson, Yadier Molina, Curtis Granderson, and J.J. Hardy to multi-year endorsement contracts.
Financial details were not disclosed.
Two-time American League MVP Miguel Cabrera, Dustin Pedroia, Jose Bautista (pictured above), Nick Swisher and R.A. Dickey are also among what was described as more than 500 professional baseball players, including Minor League athletes, for whom New Balance will be the official on-field footwear and off-field athletic footwear and apparel provider.
Marketing comes with the tag line, "Change your shoes, not your swing."
Longoria unveiled his new deal by posting a photo of himself on his Twitter page holding New Balance shoes as well as his young daughter, Elle.
In 2014, New Balance baseball athletes will be wearing either the new 4040v2 or the MB3000 cleat on the field, per the company.
New Balance said that i has "set out to change the game of baseball and sports marketing by sponsoring athletes who share the brand’s philosophy that doing good is just as important as doing well." The company said it works with its Team NB athletes to "support their charitable endeavors off the field. . . . to give back to charities or their local communities."
“We are proud to associate our brand with athletes who share our values, believe in our brand, and are committed to giving back to their communities,” Mark Cavanaugh, general manager of sports marketing at New Balance, said in a statement. “New Balance values strength of character as much as we value accolades on the field.”
“I always knew New Balance made great running shoes, then when I tried on a pair of their baseball cleats I was blown away at how comfortable they were," Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays said in a statement. "I did not want to take them off. In addition to making a high-quality product, I really like that New Balance is so committed to giving back to their communities; it’s completely aligned with my own work supporting cancer patients and animal shelters in the Tampa area.”
According to Cavanaugh, "Athletes are joining our brand because of the great things they’re hearing from teammates and other players about our products and our brand philosophy."
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