It is slowly beginning to happen; visible professional poker players are being signed to deals with non-poker companies. While Shodown Couture doesn’t wholly fit into that category, as most of the clothing seems to have a gaming theme, the spokesperson agreement signed between the company and Joe Cada looks to open more doors for poker players with sponsorship-type deals outside the online poker industry.
On March 10, it was announced that 2009 World Series of Poker Main Event champion Cada signed an “exclusive celebrity spokesperson agreement” with Shodown Couture, a company that designs t-shirts for poker enthusiasts. The shirts are eco-friendly, made from Bamboo fabric and designed to adapt to the unusual nature of poker rooms that vary in temperature, and the antibacterial fabric is said to keep poker players “dry and odor-free.” Though the website currently only offers a limited number of shirts, Cada is in the process of helping design a new series to be available in the near future.
Cada said, “I’m pumped to be a part of the Shodown Pro-Team and really looking forward to helping design my signature series. The guys at Shodown not only understand fashion that appeals to poker players like me, but they are poker players themselves and grind as hard as we do.”
According to Cada’s agent, Dan Frank, the deal with Shodown works perfectly in conjunction with Cada’s sponsorship deal with PokerStars. Anything that Cada wears has to make room for the PokerStars logo on his clothing, and Shodown was more than willing to accommodate. Noting that the group at Shodown had a work ethic they appreciated, Frank noted, “Whether it’s the PokerStars.net logo on his hat, or the Shodown on his chest, Joe is going to look great, as he will only be associated with companies that conduct their affairs at the highest levels.”
The company’s founder and president, Philip Lake, added, “The signing is a perfect match with Shodown’s brand image and philosophy. Joe’s style is aggressive but he is respectful while playing. He intimates at the tables. He is the face of poker and is extremely talented. He represents what Showdown is about: quality play, bad ass style, and respect for the game.”
Showdown Couture also boasts of two other well-known poker pros on its Pro-Team, Paul Wasicka and Mike “Timex” McDonald. Both players are on the team and also in the process of designing their clothing lines to be available on the site in the coming months. And all items from the store are reportedly going to be offered on a retail level in stores in the summer of 2010.