Reebok Planning NFL Jersey Blitz

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Tennessee Titans quarterback Vince Young celebrates the day his mother was born, wearing No. 10 for her June 10th birthday. And Jacksonville Jaguars running back Maurice Jones-Drew recalls the teams that turned him down to play pro football—that would be all 32 in the draft—with No. 32 emblazoned across his chest.
There are some of the stories behind those NFL jerseys, according to a marketing campaign breaking next month. The print and retail ads are part of a collaboration among longtime NFL sponsor Reebok, the NFL Players Association and the Champs sporting goods chain that will try to energize sales of the apparel category dubbed names-and-numbers after years of focus on women, performance and lifestyle merchandise.
“Promoting the jerseys like this gives the players a chance to take off their helmets and tell a story,” said John McMahon, marketing director for Reebok Sports Licensed Division. “It makes them relatable.”
The campaign, running through September, will have a dedicated Web site with video footage of players like New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning and safety Kenny Phillips, Kansas City Chiefs running back Thomas Jones, and other stars talking about the origins of the numbers they wear. Fans can upload video clips about their favorite numbers (or the ones they wear during their own games) and enter a contest to win NFL swag.
More than 600 Champs stores will get extensive signage, crew T-shirts and POP for the seven-figure program under the tagline, “Every number has a story. What’s yours?” McMahon said Reebok plans to make it an annual event, eventually expanding to include more players and more tales.

@TLStanleyLA T.L. Stanley is a senior editor at Adweek, where she specializes in consumer trends, cannabis marketing, meat alternatives, pop culture, challenger brands and creativity.