Skip to content

Ovechkin signs long-term endorsement deal with Nike

Sep 2, 2011, 2:17 AM EDT

Tampa Bay Lightning v Washington Capitals - Game Two Getty Images

With all of the Alexander Semin bashing lately, at least one of the Capitals’ Russian snipers is having a good offseason. Rumors broke this afternoon that Alexander Ovechkin was signing an endorsement deal with Nike. Originally, it was thought that Ovechkin’s news conference schedule for Tuesday was to announce the endorsement deal—but now it looks like the press conference is unrelated to tonight’s news.

The Washington Post’s Tarik El-Bashir confirmed the news with Ovechkin’s agent, David Abrutyn on Thursday evening:

“I can confirm that Alex has signed a long-term global partnership with Nike. Alex is going to be supporting all of the products that Nike makes — apparel, footwear, performance apparel, casual wear, accessories and other elements of the Nike family of products. So he will be wearing their performance product when he’s playing and practicing, when he’s training and in his lifestyle.”
“From a lifestyle standpoint, everybody knows that Ovi has a unique fashion sense.”

This isn’t Nike’s first foray into the NHL. Hockey fans might recall the memorable Nike commercial that featured Markus Naslund and Ilya Kovalchuk going mano y mano. In the 1990s, there were players who sported the swoosh on the ice; including Sergei Fedorov and currently Steven Stamkos as signed up with the Oregon-based shoe company.

It’s understandable why Nike would target Ovechkin for a long-term endorsement deal. Aside from Sidney Crosby (who is locked into a deal with Reebok), there isn’t a more recognizable hockey player on the planet. We’re talking about a guy who just had the worst season of his career and still managed 32 goals and 85 points last season to lead the Capitals. The man has averaged 50 goals and 102 points per season over his 6 year career. Sometimes fans get a bit callous to his regular season dominance since he’s entered the league.

The next step for Ovechkin (and now his marketing partner) is a deep run in the playoffs. Even though the Washington captain was arguably the best Capitals player on the ice during last year’s playoffs, the fact remains that they haven’t gone past the Conference Semifinals since 1998. For the new sponsor to get full return on their endorsement deal, they’ll want maximum visibility for their product wearing player. In the world of the NHL, there’s no bigger stage than a deep run in the playoffs.

As long as we don’t have to see any commercials with a disembodied head in a locker (or bowling bag), everything should be fine.

  1. sharksfan754 - Sep 2, 2011 at 6:04 AM

    Nike is the parent company/ owner of Bauer since 1995, but got their name and logo removed from Bauer in 2008. So did he actually sign with nike and not bauer( he was ccm before, which is owned by reebok, which is owned by adidas)? Just trying to distinguish the actual line between Nike and Bauer apparel for Ovi’s contract..

  2. jpelle82 - Sep 2, 2011 at 9:22 AM

    i’m guessing the stick excuse is out the window now. doesnt look like they are forcing him to use their stick like ccm was. maybe he can resurrect his off-wing-between-the-defender’s-leg shot that failed him all last year.

  3. gocaps8 - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:07 PM

    As much as I love Ovechkin and the Caps, this was not a smart deal on Nike’s part. Ovie’s physical style of play may translate to a shortened, Cam Neely-style career. I hope he holds up, but unless he is less wreckless on the ice, he won’t be the same player 5 years from now.

    • icelovinbrotha215 - Sep 2, 2011 at 1:26 PM

      But how many players attract more attention now in the NHL? Nike knows what they are doing. There will be a polarizing player(s) 5 years from now.

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. J. Quick (1290)
  2. C. Giroux (1116)
  3. N. Horton (1075)
  4. A. Ovechkin (1041)
  5. B. Schenn (1029)