Shohei Ohtani Announces New Balance Deal, Says He Wants to 'Change the Game' with Activewear Brand
Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani is entering the shoe game!
The two-time MLB all-star, and only player to ever be named All-MLB First Team as a pitcher and a hitter, has signed a long-term deal with the activewear brand, New Balance announced on Tuesday.
Ohtani, 28, said he's "excited to join the New Balance family" as he continues his "journey in baseball" and outside endeavors.
The all-star pitcher says he decided to sign with New Balance, whose roster also includes NBA stars Kawhi Leonard and Zach LaVine, because of the brand's reputation "for having incredible production innovation" and "being an authentic brand who allows their athletes to be themselves," in a statement.
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Ohtani said he looks forward to joining New Balance "to change the game," with the partnership.
The brand's Head of Baseball Sports Marketing Neil Brooks called Ohtani "a once-in-a-generation athlete who fits with our larger roster of athletes in approach to respective sports."
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Brooks continued, "Shohei is never satisfied and is constantly pushing himself and his team to be better while letting his on-field performance speak for itself. We look forward to building the relationship and helping Shohei achieve his dreams and in the process truly change the game as we know it."
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As part of the deal, New Balance is launching the limited-edition 574 Cleat, a new take on one of the brand's classic models that makes it field-ready.
Meanwhile, Ohtani is preparing for the new season with the Angels — which kicks off March 30 — and the upcoming World Baseball Classic where he'll lead Team Japan. He'll also be a free agent in October, and likely to command another major contract.