Years of performing on baseball and football fields have left Deion Sanders with relentless foot pain, which makes his latest footwear partnership an ideal one.
Recovery footwear company Oofos announced today that it has signed a strategic brand partnership with the man appropriately nicknamed “Prime Time” during his playing days. According to Oofos, the label is now the exclusive partner for recovery footwear for the Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee and will work the brand to introduce it, as well as its proprietary OOfoam technology, to other athletes.
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The now-retired multisport star said he discovered Oofos at a seven-on-seven football tournament in 2019 and was immediately enamored with the benefits of its slides. “These are the most comfortable slides I’ve ever worn in my life. This is coming from a dude who is 52, has had three toe surgeries and is in need of a fourth. These shoes changed the game for me,” Sanders said in a statement.
With the partnership in place, Sanders spoke with FN about his love for Oofos’ recovery products and how he will use his platforms to introduce the company to more athletes.
Footwear News: How did you find out about Oofos and what was your reaction to your first time wearing the brand’s slides?
Deion Sanders: “I was at a high school seven-on-seven football tournament coaching my team and at the conclusion of the tournament they had a vendor out there with their product. And this guy, this wonderful gentleman brought me over a pair of slides to try on and I didn’t immediately try them on because I was in a hurry to get to my vehicle. Shortly after the game, we’re going back to the hotel, I tried them on and went downstairs to grab something to eat with the kids and it was alarming how comfortable they were. You’ve got to understand, I’m three toe surgeries later in need of a fourth, and I need that [comfort], especially after a long day on my feet at these seven-on-seven tournaments. You’re there from 8:00 a.m. to 3 or 4 p.m. on your feet in the hot sun.”
How did the slides feel when you put them on after the tournament?
DS: “They had a very thick sole and were very supportive, it felt like it was cushioned, there was support and had the right arch. It was comfortability at its finest moment, it really was, and it was alarming that they were that comfortable. That’s what provoked me to reach back out to them, to try to acquire some more.”
How did the relationship with Oofos come together? What were your initial discussions like?
DS: “I called them and they came down to visit me in Texas, three of the wonderful gentlemen came down. We did a whole 360 wrap around so I could have full understanding [of the brand] and there weren’t any things that I desired to change, maybe colors or whatever and a little more splash to ‘Prime’ it up a little bit. But nothing other than that because you had something that was functional, something that was good.”
What is your role as a strategic brand partner? How will you work Oofos in this role?
DS: “I don’t know if I have a definitive role, but I don’t partner or agree with anything that I really don’t truly do when nobody’s looking. I partner with who I support, and if we weren’t on the phone in the interview that I was to have on these slides right now. When I travel and go to and from the airport, I would still have on these slip-ons because that’s what a travel in. So I’m not going to say I have to be in a team role. So I’m all in. I will use all my social platforms and relationships, my personal testimonies and my influence because it’s my understanding is when you know something is good you tell people about it.”
Do you think a shoe collaboration will come of this?
DS: “Oh, I sure hope so. I mean, that’s the goal, isn’t it? To partner a brand with a brand. And subsequently to minister to my needs because it’s really authentic. I’ve had three total surgeries so this is real, this is a real need that I have and they’ve met the needs.”
Now that you’ve worn the recovery footwear for some time have they helped with your persistent feet issues? Have you noticed a difference in how you feel because you’ve continued to wear them?
DS: “I can’t walk barefooted on my left foot. My feet are really, really bad. I have to walk on my heels when I walk barefooted so I’m rarely ever barefooted, even in the home. Right now I’m talking to you would a pair of Oofos on. I just got finished working out and I’m sitting on my patio with these comfortable shoes on. My kids, that’s all they wear around the home. My housekeepers, I got him a pair. So we are definitely 100% in it because this is truly a comfortable shoe and I’ve expressed my comfort to many athletes and everyday patrons as well.”