From the draft’s green rooms to rocking up to locker rooms on Sundays, NFL players make venues and stadiums their personal runways- often showing up in flamboyant outfits curated by professional stylists.
With brand building becoming a critical component for any modern-day public figure, it’s no surprise they’ve chosen to express and promote themselves through fashion.
Today we’ll look at seven stylish players – past and present – who’ve become magnets for photographers. But it’s not because of their performance on the field; it’s for their performance off the field.
1. Odell Beckham Jr.
Odell Beckham Jr. is a man who remains in the spotlight for a variety of reasons. It could be another insane catch in an NFL highlight reel, flexing for his millions of social media followers, or in the news because of locker room troubles. OBJ is everywhere.
Also, the inspiration behind several funny fantasy football league names, the 29-year-old has been in the spotlight for his Louis Vuitton and Fendi-decked outfits ever since his rookie year.
Sponsored by Nike, Foot Locker, and Head & Shoulders, the Super Bowl champion has also made several astute moves in the endorsement business. The former All-Pro’s off-the-field fashion choices haven’t been the only ones that have grabbed headlines, however.
Beckham was spotted wearing a Richard Mille watch during the Tennessee Titans’ curb stomping against the Cleveland Browns in the opening week of the 2019 season. The watch, identified as an RM 11-03 McLaren Flyback Chronograph, is rumored to be priced around $350,000.
2. Russell Wilson
When you’re the husband of one of the most prominent pop singers in the world in the form of Ciara, one would figure that endless appearances on runways and red carpets would follow suit throughout the marriage’s duration.
In the case of the nine-time Pro-Bowler, that’s precisely what has happened. The Super Bowl champ has been spotted multiple times on Tom Ford runways.
Russell Wilson and his better half also leverage their passion for fashion for nobler causes.
In 2020, the power couple founded The House of LR&C clothing line. Through the company, they donate 3% of every purchase to the quarterback’s charitable organization.
3. Cam Newton
The 2015 NFL MVP is considered one of the boldest athletes in the league regarding fashion choices. Having claimed to spend millions on clothes he only wore once, his pre and postgame outfits make headlines far more often than his play on the field (play that has unfortunately spiraled downward ever since).
Newton’s clothing choices capture everyone’s imagination, and his staple fedoras have generated waves of buzz in fashion circles. Nonetheless, the wild, whimsical outfits he sports (and overall outspokenness on social justice matters add to his larger-than-life persona) make him an enigma.
Newton is known for creating his own rules when it comes to fashion statements.
4. Tom Brady
Probably the most fashionably conservative inclusion on this list, the seven-time Super Bowl champion earns his stripes for the overall sleekness of his fashion choices. His style gives him a Bond-esque aura to couple with his stellar play.
In a similar vein to his Denver Broncos compatriot, Brady is married to one of the highest-earning supermodels of all time. Gisele Bundchen. So he undoubtedly has a certain standard to meet with respect to his wardrobe.
Recently, the quarterback (known for his notoriously strict dietary regimen) launched lifestyle and fashion brands. These include TB12 Sports and the Brady Brand, companies that only further cement his status as an elegant fashion entrepreneur.
5. Deion Sanders
“If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, they pay good.”
As this list includes past and present stylish players, we’d be remiss not to include one of the NFL’s first fashion icons, Deion Sanders. Sanders was the epitome of style, a trailblazer who inspired a generation to play with an edge and walk the talk.
Also known as “Primetime,” the show-stopping cornerback made a name for himself in the late ’80s and ’90s for his lockdown play on the field and his shiny, glossy wardrobe choices off it. This included sporting an enormous golden chain when he was made the 5th overall selection in the 1989 draft.
While the Atlanta legend isn’t as enthusiastic about his outspoken fashion choices as he once was, few people in the league’s history – and sports history as a whole – who did things the way Sanders did.
6. DeAndre Hopkins
One of the NFL’s premier wideouts, the self-proclaimed “best-dressed player in all of sports” certainly has the fashion acumen to back that claim up. His bold, brave, and polished pre and postgame outfits have attracted some of the biggest names in the fashion industry, and the Cardinal has worked with brands such as Louis Vuitton.
Additionally, having made appearances on fashion power-player covers and runways such as GQ and Paris Fashion Week, Hopkins one day hopes to launch a women’s clothing line. He also signed an endorsement deal with IMG Models in 2020, moving further into the fashion world.
7. Joe Namath
We round this list off with a man who was a legitimate sex symbol in professional sports during his prim: Joe Namath. He was a magnet for product endorsement deals and even caused a stir for wearing full-length fur coats on NFL sidelines.
While “Broadway Joe” was unimpressive from a statistical standpoint, his on-the-field legacy stems from guaranteeing a Super Bowl III victory of his New York Jets over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts (a prophecy that would eventually be fulfilled).
During his playing days, Joe’s fashion choices transcended the sideline. He stood out from other players of his time by wearing low-cut white shoes and later went on to an extensive acting career post-retirement.
From the new-age fashion icons in the Beckhams and Newtons of the NFL world to the trailblazers like Sanders and Namath, countless stylish players have chosen to express themselves through their wardrobe choices and business ventures. For the league’s biggest icons, football and fashion are inseparable.