Sports Court NIL Newsletter | A Revolutionary Football Cleat

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Today’s Case

Georgia football’s Arian Smith teams up with Caddix Cleats to revolutionize athlete performance

Georgia football receiver Arian Smith (Photo Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports)

Georgia football WR Arian Smith is partnering with new cutting-edge company Caddix, whose cleats are designed to reduce the rotational force responsible for injury.

Known for his speed and agility on the football field, Smith is promoting Caddix Cleats via his Instagram account.

The company introduced SmartStuds™, a revolutionary technology designed to significantly reduce the risk of non-contact ACL, MCL and ankle injuries. The innovative studs flex and twist under pressure, effectively mitigating the torque that can lead to season-ending injuries, all while maintaining necessary traction for performance. This partnership with Smith aims to showcase the fusion of sports excellence and technological innovation.

Caddix offers a range of options for athletes, including men's low and mid football cleats, as well as women's soccer cleats.

Cannon Gaines, CEO of Gaines Group Activations: “Arian's injury history is the backdrop to our collaboration with Caddix Cleats, emphasizing the seamless fit between his needs and Caddix Cleats’ commitment to providing that through innovative footwear.”

Arian Smith wearing Caddix cleats (Photo Credit:

The Verdict

  • Footwear NIL deals make their way to the football field

    • While there are numerous partnerships featuring footwear partnerships for basketball players (Flau’jae Johnson and Puma, Cameron Brink and New Balance, etc.) I believe this is the first football partnership for a specific training shoe.

    • Moreso, the fact that this is footwear for on-field performance (as opposed to off-field training use) is outstanding, as most athletes solely train in the footwear brand associated with their school.

  • Extent of the partnership

    • Assuming Smith was paid a flat fee upfront for the partnership and receives free cleats to train in, I’m curious what the NIL collaboration will look like going forward. (ie., more training footage, behind the scenes content, making of the cleats, etc.)

    • One big thing to note: Smith CANNOT wear these cleats in games or practice, as Georgia is a Nike school. Instead, he can wear them to train outside of team activities, as well as if he plays football professionally after college. (The latter of which can be a significant move for both Smith and Caddix.)

  • High price point

    • Given the cost of the cleats ($225 for football, $250 for women’s soccer), it will be interesting to see if Caddix leverages their sponsored athletes audiences to move product.

      • This could be a secondary NIL deal for the athletes to possibly earn a percentage of each pair of cleats they sell with a special code.

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