BREAKING: Jack Grealish to Sign Unprecedented Gucci Deal

Jack Grealish is set to sign a seven-figure endorsement deal with luxury fashion brand Gucci, which would make him the first ever footballer to become a Gucci brand ambassador, as reported by David Ornstein of the Athletic.

Grealish to Become Gucci Global Ambassador

Grealish became the most expensive British footballer of all time last summer after his £100 million move from Aston Villa to Man City after developing steadily into a world class attacker over the past few years. Though he is yet to set the world alight at City, his reputation, profile and good looks seem to have been enough to persuade Gucci that he is the right man to be the first face of the brand from the world of football.

A fresh-faced Grealish before he switched his allegiance to England

Grealish is very much a flair player, and some of his off-field behaviour has been typical of the stereotypical maverick players of the past, setting him apart somewhat from the very homogenised, media-trained modern day footballer. Alcohol, encounters with women, car crashes and breaking lockdown rules are some of the reasons that have seen him make headlines, incidents that could have a longer lasting negative impact on his career and image if it were not for his immense technical ability and skill as a player.

Online Appeal and an Untapped Market

Grealish sporting some Gucci gear

On the pitch, his hairstyle, rolled down socks and bulging calf muscles have become his trademarks, generating countless social media posts dedicated to them, to go along with the montages and clips of him dancing around defenders. This online presence and popularity is a big factor for Gucci, who have increasingly based their advertising strategy on online youth culture since the arrival of Alessandro Michele as creative director in 2015. The brand have hired popular meme makers and Tik Tok creators to produce ad campaigns for them, and chosen K-pop stars and the likes of Harry Styles as ambassadors, whose massive and cult-like online fanbases lap up anything associated with or featuring their idols. Harry Styles’ unveiling as a Gucci ambassador saw their online interactions increase by 1245%.

There is an enormous amount of football fans on social media, with a huge amount of accounts dedicated to the sport, and countless fan accounts who seem to only interact with football content. Anyone who has ever read a football debate on Twitter can tell you that a significant portion of these people are very young and impressionable. They idolise their favourite footballers like deities and copying them in whatever way possible.

This online community of football fans represents an untapped market for luxury brands such as Gucci. This market has been increasingly targeted by streetwear and sportswear brands, but high fashion has just very recently begun to dip its toes in these waters. With 55% of Gucci’s sales in 2017 coming from the under 35 age group, the online football community would definitely fit this consumer profile.

Fashion, Football and Cool Factor

High street brands and online retailers such as H and M, Mango and Boohoo (with whom Grealish already has a line of clothing) have signed up players like Raheem Sterling, Hector Bellerin - who also walked for Louis Vuitton at Paris Fashion Week in 2019 - and Antoine Griezmann for their own ranges of clothing, but Grealish x Gucci would be a step into the upper echelons of luxury fashion. Marcus Rashford has a deal with Burberry and Kylian Mbappé with Dior, brands from their respective countries, but the iconic Italian giant that is Gucci choosing the Birmingham native to represent them is quite unprecedented.

Grealish's Boohoo MAN collection

Grealish would join the likes of A$AP Rocky, Tyler the Creator and Iggy Pop, Jared Leto and Lana Del Rey on the Gucci payroll, stars from the worlds of music and cinema who are obviously deemed to have that necessary cool factor. Is Grealish the right choice to slot into this catalogue of names and faces? His aforementioned antics off the pitch and his swagger on it seem to have convinced the powers that be at Gucci that he is. Then again, these other stars don’t appeal to the same audience that Grealish does, so maybe he doesn’t need to match up exactly to his predecessors. If this works well for the Florence-based fashion house, we can expect that Grealish won’t be the last footballer to pen a deal with a brand of Gucci’s ilk.

What do you think of Grealish becoming the face of Gucci? Would another player have been a better fit? Let’s hear your thoughts in the comments section.