The collection, which features items for all 32 teams, is the latest celebrity apparel collaboration aimed at bridging the gap (and monetizing the overlap) between music and sports. Fanatics has a similar one with broadcaster Erin Andrews, whose Wear line started with the NFL and has since expanded to the NBA and college sports.
Rucker, who earned acclaim as the lead singer of Hootie & the Blowfish before launching a solo country career, is an avid fan of the Miami Dolphins. He has a tattoo of the team logo, and even casual music listeners might recognize his lyric, “I’m such a baby ‘cause the Dolphins make me cry.”
Rucker said in an interview that he thought he was being pranked when he first heard about Fanatics’ interest in working with him. But after hearing the details, the singer is optimistic the line will have a material impact on his personal brand and the popularity of his music.
“My brand takes a huge step up, probably two or three steps up,” Rucker said. “If I’m sitting there watching the Green Bay game on Sunday and there’s a commercial for my line with Fanatics? That’s iconic stuff, and that’s going to help my career.”
The deal was brokered by BCL Entertainment. Details on the revenue share between the parties was not released.
For the NFL and Fanatics, the league’s ecommerce partner, the collaboration is an opportunity to offer clothing that is different from most officially licensed product, and hopefully lure a new group of buyers. Along those lines, Fanatics has added a host of non-endemic, fashion-forward brands to its mix of products, including collaborations with companies like Dooney & Bourke and Vineyard Vines.
Rucker’s apparel line, with prices ranging from $29.99 to $99.99, includes flannels, fleece, vests and jackets.
Hootie & The Blowfish won two Grammys and sold more than 25 million albums worldwide. Rucker’s country career has produced four Billboard No. 1 albums and another Grammy.
“I’ve sung the national anthem in stadiums all over the NFL, and I’ve never worn anyone else’s shirt, I wouldn’t wear anybody’s hat, wouldn’t wear a jersey,” Rucker said. “But I’ll tell you what, now with my own line, every night I’m in a different town, I’m going to have on whatever NFL team is closest to that town.”