Brady, along with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, today appeared before Judge Richard M. Berman for the player’s involvement in the intentional deflation of footballs prior to the AFC Championship Game. The U.S. District Judge told Brady that he had not decided who would prevail in their fight over deflated footballs. The settlement hearing followed Goodell’s ruling to uphold Brady’s four-game suspension on July 28.
Despite the eventual outcome, Ugg is standing behind its man. “Tom Brady is an incredible athlete and brand ambassador,” said Angel Martinez, Ugg chairman and CEO in an email to Footwear News. “Our support remains unchanged.”
Brady is not the first brand ambassador to behave badly. In fact, it’ is an issue brands typically take into consideration before signing on a celebrity or athlete. According to Sam Poser, analyst with Sterne Agee CRT, the incident will likely not impact Ugg’s men’s business down the road, noting he does not think Brady is the reason guys are buying the shoes. “I think the question becomes are the shoes good, comfortable and are they translating [into] what Ugg stands for to men,” said Poser. “The product continues to improve, but it’s a small part of the business, [however] growing.”
Poser did note, however, that while Ugg will not break ties with Brady, it may opt to decrease his exposure. “Will you see as many billboards with him this fall? We will have to see, but I tend to doubt it,” he said, adding that Brady never had the selling power of athletes such as Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods prior to his fall from grace.