Why Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw's Skechers deal marks a first for footwear brand

Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw’s choice of footwear may surprise some baseball fans when he takes the mount during the 2019 MLB playoffs this month.

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Kershaw, 31, will wear custom-made Skechers baseball cleats during the postseason to kick off a multi-year endorsement deal with the footwear brand. The Dodgers star collaborated on the design of the cleats and a new line of athletic footwear. He is also set to star in marketing campaigns for the company starting in 2020.

“I’ve spent my entire career here in Los Angeles, so it feels perfect that I’m partnering with Skechers—a Los Angeles original since 1992,” said Clayton Kershaw. “I’ve been working with the design team on several styles, and I am extremely impressed with the performance and comfort offered by Skechers. We have some unexpected and exciting ideas that fans will love.”

The cleats, which feature Kershaw’s No. 22 and a “CCC” decal in honor of his children, mark a unique bid for exposure for Skechers. The brand does not manufacture cleats for the public and has no plans to start selling them, a company representative told FOX Business.

Kershaw joins a roster of Skechers athlete endorsers that includes former NFL quarterback Tony Romo, MLB Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera and NHL legend Wayne Gretzky.

“Clayton proves that the comfort and performance of Skechers footwear delivers even when you’re at the top of your game,” Skechers President Michael Greenberg said in a statement. “Fans have already seen Skechers on the mound in the middle of the action, and we’ll soon follow with a full marketing campaign supporting our performance and athletic lifestyle men’s collections. Clayton’s energy, talent, and international fan base make this partnership a home run for Skechers for years to come.”

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Aside from his endorsement deal with Skechers and other sources of income off the field, Kershaw has earned more than $200 million in salary during his 12-year career with the Dodgers.