By Colleen Kane
How do you suppose professional athletes earn enough riches to afford mansions like the ones seen here and the getaways pictured here? It's not only their salaries or their prizes, but the endorsement deals, spinoffs and personal brands. For abundant evidence, see the CNBC slideshow Pro Athletes Turned Entrepreneurs.
|Slideshow: Athlete Clothing Lines|
While some of these athlete fashion brands are not so well known, one of the following examples was once ubiquitous, one is legendary, and one line of undies is currently modeled by its namesake in a giant ad on the side of a building in midtown Manhattan.
This collection has a good selection of newcomers: Some of them debuted earlier this year, and some are debuting now and in upcoming months. We've got representatives from the worlds of golf, tennis, pro skating, soccer and cycling, as well as some big and tall NBA guys making sure they can go out in a nice suit.
Line: David Beckham Bodywear for H&M.
Where it's sold: H&M.
In February, the soccer superstar/ Mr. Posh Spice/ sometime Armani underwear model launched his own line of undies, David Beckham Bodywear for H&M. The first collection of Beckham and H&M's long-term partnership includes briefs (or "pants," if you’re inclined to call soccer "football"), boxers, trunks, tanks and pajama bottoms. Beckham wanted the line bearing his name to feature unadorned classic undergarments with labels that wouldn't scratch.
Line: Hawk Clothing. Where it's sold: Kohl's. Tony Hawk, the biggest name in pro skating, started his namesake line of casual kids' clothing with his family for the discount department store Kohl's in 1998. Many of the clothing line’s shirts, shorts and sneaks sport the stylized hawk-head logo in sizes ranging from toddler boy to "teen guys." With a successful skateboarding company and deals with Activision, Six Flags, Infospace, Adio shoes, Jeep and Sirius Satellite Radio, Hawk has created a brand that generates more than $200 million a year, according to ABC News. Recently, some less wholesome allegations have arisen regarding Hawk Clothing and the conditions of the garment factories where it's made. Wages for garment workers in Bangladesh are 21 cents an hour, and safety conditions are bad, resulting in a fire that killed 29 in a factory that makes Hawk Clothing. When ABC News asked Hawk about the fire, he responded, "It's tragic. I think that the safety standards need to change and I support whatever change that they can make there."
Line: Maria Sharapova by Cole Haan/ Maria Sharapova Collection for Nike. Where it's sold: Cole Haan shops and website/ Nike stores and website. Former No. 1 tennis player Maria Sharapova brought glamour to the court, notably in the 2006 U.S. open, which she won wearing an Audrey Hepburn-inspired little black dress with a crystal collar. It's no surprise, then, that she has two ranges of clothing, shoes and accessories. The high-end accessory brand Cole Haan has Sharapova-branded shoes and handbags, and The New York Times reported last year that Sharapova's ballet flats for Cole Haan (then $138, now $148) are one of the brand's best-selling items. Sharapova has a contract with Nike worth up to $70 million, the Times reported. Her no-nonsense range for Nike is more sporting-oriented and includes a visor, wristbands, tennis shoes, tennis shorts and dresses. Nike also sells outfits based on ones Sharapova wears on the court.
Line: The Steve Nash Collection for Indochino.
Where it's sold: Indochino website.
The South African-born point guard for the Phoenix Suns collaborated once before with the online custom suit retailer Indochino, on the limited edition (of 50) Showdown in Chinatown Suit.
Proceeds went to Steve Nash Foundation, which helps underprivileged children. Last fall, Nash launched his eponymous collection for Indochino, consisting of 100 percent Merino wool suits, ties, pocket squares and cufflinks.
Line: Air Jordan. Where it's sold: Nike's website, sneaker shops and sporting goods stores. It's more of a shoe-focused line, but we would be remiss to leave out one of the most successful athlete-branded wearable items of all time. Perhaps you have heard of a basketball player named Michael Jordan, whose dunking silhouette debuted in 1985 upon a little Nike high-top sneaker called the Air Jordan. Twenty-six collectible editions of the Air Jordan sneaker later, Michael Jordan is retired, the Jordan brand is its own subsidiary of Nike, the "Jumpman" silhouette appears on tees and other apparel, and the Jordan is its top-selling signature athletic shoe.
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