Dick’s Sporting Goods has signed a pro athlete to represent its VRST own brand, a move more noticeably done by large national brands like Nike, Under Armour and others, as well as through Dick’s exclusive brands like Calia by Carrie Underwood.
The retailer signed DeVonta Smith as a brand partner — a soon to be professional athlete, as he’s expected to be a high draft pick in the upcoming National Football League draft. Smith played wide receiver at Alabama last year where he won the Heisman Trophy for top player of the year. He will be prominently featured in the VRST marketing and merchandising efforts and will represent the brand in both athletic and lifestyle apparel, the company said.
It’s the first time the retailer has leveraged a celebrity athlete to promote its store brand, emphasizing the weight the chain is putting behind the newly launched athleisure line. VRST (pronounced virst) is the only own brand to also get its own e-commerce and digital platform at VRST.com, and Store Brands in the Wild recently spotted the men’s clothing line receive major upfront positioning inside the store.
The clothing fits within the atheisure trend with hoodies, tees, shorts, jogger pants and commuter pants, and also has athletic gear. It joins the retailer’s DSG brand of gear and clothing for men, women and children.
"DeVonta's elevated sense of style and electrifying performance on the field are an ideal representation of what VRST offers men who demand both style and performance from the clothes they wear," said Ed Plummer, SVP, chief marketing officer, Dick’s Sporting Goods. "We are thrilled to have DeVonta on the VRST team and look forward to watching him thrive on and off the football field."