SAXX Underwear likes to have fun with its marketing around men’s underwear, and honestly, can you blame them?
See where they’re going with this?
Taking things one step further—because, why not?—SAXX today announced it also secured the Cocks … the University of South Carolina Gamecocks, that is. The brand inked a six-figure NIL deal with the university’s football team to not only help support its players, but to also raise awareness around a very serious issue: testicular cancer.
“The philanthropic aspect of the partnership was one of the most important factors for us,” SAXX Underwear CEO Wendy Bennison says. “November is Men’s Health Awareness Month, so the timing presented a great opportunity to join forces with South Carolina to benefit a good cause. We have a mission to get more men talking about ball care, and who better to amplify the conversation than the Gamecocks?”
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in American men between the ages of 15 and 35, according to the Mayo Clinic. It’s estimated 8,000 to 10,000 men (about 1 in 270) will develop testicular cancer each year, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. Testicular cancer is most common in men in their late 20s and early 30s, with an average age of diagnosis of 33 years old.
“Even though it sounds punny, we are helping raise awareness for a serious issue that myself, my teammates and all guys my age need to know about,” South Carolina redshirt sophomore running back MarShawn Lloyd says.
The brand identified Gamecocks Cam Smith, Jordan Burch, D.K. Joyner, Jaheim Bell, Austin Stogner, Zacch Pickens and Lloyd as lead ambassadors to carry the message via social media content, media appearances and an on-campus event in November.
To kick off the partnership, the seven players collectively donated $5,000 to the Testicular Cancer Foundation to support awareness, education and research. SAXX is upping the ante by pledging to donate $1,000 for every sack recorded by the Gamecocks for the remainder of the 2022 season (up to $10,000).
In addition to the seven ambassadors, the entire team has been invited to participate in the program where they will receive more than $1,000 in SAXX gear.
The deal is the first NIL deal for SAXX and is the first full-team agreement for South Carolina’s new NIL subsidiary with Everett Sports Management (ESM) called Park Ave.
“Strategically, the University of South Carolina represents a key demographic which the SAXX brand is targeting: males 15-35,” ESM/Park Ave. partner Jeff Hoffman says. “Creatively, the University presents a tremendous opportunity to leverage its assets and break through to the audience in a way that resonates and says this is important.
“It’s exactly how NIL partnerships should be formed—smart, relevant and with a purpose to cause and brand.”
For SAXX, it’s the brand’s continued foray into sports following signing the Diggs brothers. Bennison said other potential school partnerships that could have made sense for this deal included Ball State University or the Trojans of the University of Southern California. As the brand continues to look outside of football, she says, “the options are limitless.”
“We received a lot of positive feedback about our partnership with Stefon and Trevon Diggs and activating in the sports arena makes perfect sense for our brand given our technology, mission of keeping men comfortable and connection to ball care,” she says.