The starting quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys is a brand all in itself.
Dak Prescott has embraced it.
Forbes listed Prescott as the fourth-highest paid athlete in the world, earning an estimated $107.5 million between May 1, 2020-to-May 1, 2021. During that time, Prescott earned $97.5 million from the Cowboys and $10 million in endorsements.
And now here comes another endorsement: Jordan Brand.
The Michael Jordan sneaker and athletic apparel company signed Prescott to a five-year deal, multiple sources said. Prescott also becomes the highest-paid NFL player under Jordan Brand. The official deal hasn’t been announced. Jordan Brand doesn’t speak publicly on such matters, instead focusing on revealing new athletes to its brand through its sneaker blog.
For Prescott, the black Jordan Brand cleats he wore on the last day of the Cowboys mandatory veteran minicamp said it all. There was no Jumpman logo of Michael Jordan, yet across the tongue of each cleat read Jordan Brand.
Prescott signed with Jordan Brand after five years with Adidas, which attempted to re-sign the quarterback. A desire from Michael Jordan and Prescott to form a partnership was too much to bypass for the quarterback. In addition, Prescott’s charitable efforts for social justice initiatives and mental health awareness was of great interest to Jordan Brand, which expects to help in those endeavors.
This spring four NFL players — Stefon Diggs, Devin White, Jarvis Landry and Kyle Pitts — signed with Jordan Brand. In total, Jordan Brand has 25 football players under its umbrella.
The company invests mainly in basketball players. Signing Prescott is the latest example of Jordan Brand trying to make a mark in football.
Sneaker enthusiasts took notice.
“We see players and footwear brands emphasizing special makeup cleats in the NFL,” said Joe La Puma, host of Complex’s Sneaker Shopping series, which follows athletic footwear. “Jordan Brand has developed player-exclusive colorways for over 50 NFL athletes but signing Dak Prescott to a long-term deal lands them a marquee face for their football division.”
Prescott isn’t the first Cowboys player to sign with Jordan Brand. Former wide receiver Dez Bryant was part of the company in 2013 for a brief period.
The brand has also had quarterbacks in the past such as Jimmy Garoppolo, Dwayne Haskins and DeShone Kizer. None comes with the expected impact Prescott might have.
Playing for the Cowboys, the most valued franchise in sports, gives Jordan Brand an opportunity to do much with the team and Prescott.
The only NFL player, under the Jordan Brand label, to have his own signature shoe was Hall of Fame wide receiver Randy Moss. That shoe was called the Super Freak.
Prescott won’t get his own signature shoe in the first year of the deal, a source said, but it’s possible it will happen in time.
A source said a unique clause in the Prescott/Jordan Brand contract allows the company to produce a Dallas Cowboys/Jordan Brand product line. The Jordan Brand company needed permission from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, who owns the rights to Cowboys gear, for this to happen.
“I personally think it’s a big deal,” said Chad Jones, chief operating officer of Fort Lee, N.J.-based Another Lane, a Techstars portfolio company that is the premier community for sneaker enthusiasts. “Jordan Brand has been leaving little bread crumbs for a number of years now, and they’ve been entering the NFL arena in 2018 when they were officially recognized as a brand by the NFL.”
Prescott is the highest profile athlete with Jordan Brand now and considering he’s got the highest contact in Cowboys history, it seemed a perfect match.
“Jordan is not into football, it’s basketball,” said George Kiel III, a brand director for Sports Dissected, which talks about apparel brands on its YouTube channel. “Jordan Brand having Dak as the face of Jordan Brand is a huge deal. Everyone knows the quarterback is the face of the team.
“Jordan Brand has always done a good job of branding. It is a surprise to get a quarterback of Dak’s stature with them. It’s the start of Jordan Brand positioning themselves in different sports.”
Prescott’s value away from the NFL has the financial potential to push him higher than any Cowboys quarterback has gone away from the field.
Don Meredith, Roger Staubach, Troy Aikman and Tony Romo are the most famous Cowboys quarterbacks for their work on and off the field.
Meredith as a color analyst for ABC’s Monday Night Football in the 1970s, Staubach with his business ventures, Aikman as lead football analyst for Fox Sports and Romo for endorsements and now as the lead football analyst for CBS Sports.
Here comes Prescott moving ahead with one of the great athletes in sports, Michael Jordan, behind him.
“I think there’s a unique challenge right now in seeing the viability,” Jones said. “How will they showcase their product? They don’t make deals with people they don’t think they can make [money] with like that.”