ESPN's Darren Rovell reported the news on Wednesday, adding that the company gave Clowney a pair of custom expensive shoes.
Puma gave Jadeveon Clowney a $2,500 custom pair of snake skin shoes tonight pic.twitter.com/tadj0OXGLB— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) May 8, 2014
Box presented to Clowney with custom snake skin shoes inside pic.twitter.com/HXx0xRRdKR— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) May 8, 2014
Clowney explained his reasoning for partnering with Puma in Rovell's report, and he also discussed bolstering his brand.
"I just want to be a part of something different," said Clowney. "Why not change it up? ... I'm going to try to carry my name as far as I can. I'll have a new hit for you too. Stay tuned. It's going to come."
NFL.com's Gil Brandt was in the know about the potential deal, and he noted that Clowney wouldn't be able to rock any Puma apparel on the NFL gridiron:
Jadeveon Clowney meeting with Puma reps this afternoon. If deal gets done, he won't be able to display Puma logo on field. #NikeOnly— Gil Brandt (@Gil_Brandt) May 7, 2014
The platform on which Puma has the opportunity to be is huge, because the Houston Texans hold the No. 1 overall draft pick in Thursday's first round and could very well take Clowney with the choice. He did nothing to dismiss that notion on Wednesday, per the Houston Chronicle's Brian T. Smith:
Even if Clowney doesn't quite live up to his potential, he can apparently still be an All-Pro-caliber star, as one AFC executive told NFL Network's Ian Rapoport:
Asked an AFC exec what does Jadeveon Clowney look like if he’s not as good as advertised? Answer: Julius Peppers or Mario Williams.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) May 7, 2014
Is Jadeveon Clowney worthy of the No. 1 overall draft pick?
In any event, Puma should have no trouble advertising with as gifted of a football player, as Clowney is helping their marketing cause.
This is a great move by Puma and an interesting endorsement for Clowney, who should help promote the company in a big way if he lives up to his massive hype. At 6'6" and 266 pounds, he ran a 4.53-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine and has some of the most unique athleticism at his position of any collegiate prospect in history.
Clowney has already signed long-term endorsements with Wilson and New Era, along with Gillette, per Rovell. More deals should come flooding in if Clowney can dismiss concerns about his work ethic and light it up as an NFL rookie. Should he indeed land in Houston and team up with fellow defensive end J.J. Watt, Clowney should have no trouble making an immediate impact for both the Texans and Puma.
Given his immense talent, his flashes of brilliance at South Carolina and his desire to bolster his brand, Clowney figures to make a big mark wherever he lands in the draft, both on the field and commercially.