Dwight Howard Picks New 'Team'

Jerry MilaniContributor IMarch 7, 2012

ORLANDO, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Eastern Conference All-Stars (L-R) Dwight Howard #12 of the Orlando Magic and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat look on during the 2012 NBA All-Star Game at the Amway Center on February 26, 2012 in Orlando, Florida.  NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

This morning, following a disappointing loss to the Charlotte Bobcats, an announcement was made that the Orlando Magic’s Dwight Howard was joining a new team.

The rumor mill has the seven-time NBA All-Star heading for destinations far and wide, with teams like the Lakers, Mavericks, Nets and others preparing to make their best respective pushes to acquire the superstar.

Fortunately for Magic fans, the new team Howard joined today was on the business side, not on the court — yet.

Howard announced he was the latest athlete to join the endorsement and advisory group for MISSION Athletecare, a fast-growing brand that concentrates on creating new products to help athletes deal with accentuating performance and a healthy lifestyle.

The effectiveness of a company these days is sometimes based on a combination of buzz, “stickiness” of the product with the consumer and its ability to carve a niche in a competitive marketplace. MISSION is one that looks like they have mastered the “sticky” side, especially.

Howard joins an eclectic mix of athletes, from David Wright and Sergio Garcia, to Serena Williams, Carmelo Anthony and Dwyane Wade, who not just endorse but actively engage in the development of MISSION products, which now include muscle care, foot care, grip enhancements, anti-chafe, sun care and others.

Howard’s involvement comes after seeing other athletes use MISSION products over the last few years and hearing about the company from others around the game. Right now approximately ¼ of the players in the NBA use the dry grip products, including the league’s latest marketing darling, Jeremy Lin of the Knicks, who was seen having Court Grip applied to his shoes in New York last week, along with his teammate Anthony, who is a part of the MISSION team as well.

"Everyone knows I'm all performance, all the time," said Dwight Howard in a statement. "When I learned about MISSION, their specific focus on solving problems unique to athletes, and the opportunity to be part of that process, I knew it was a perfect fit."

Recently named the "Official Athletecare Partner" of the NBA and the "Official Traction Partner" of the NBATA, in September, MISSION also has Court Grip™ and Power Grip™, which quickly garnered a cult-like following with more than 100,000 players using the products.

Now with Howard on board, the brand is hoping for an even bigger presence, literally and figuratively, as they expand into new areas, whether Superman is playing in Orlando or somewhere else the rest of the season.