In our industry, sponsorship opportunities outside of the poker landscape are difficult to come by. While players such as Vanessa Rousso have been able to land lucrative deals outside of the poker spectrum, those opportunities seem to be few and far between.
It was announced on Friday that World Series of Poker (WSOP) Main Event champion Joe Cada, who defeated Darvin Moon in November to become the youngest Main Event champion ever, would be sponsored by Shodown Couture, a clothing company that features apparel themed around the poker lifestyle.
“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 intimidates at the tables,” said Philip Lake, President and Founder of Shodown Couture. “He is the face of poker and is extremely talented. He represents what Shodown is about: quality play, bad ass style, and respect for the game.” The first event that Cada will appear at wearing Shodown Couture apparel will be the North American Poker Tour (NAPT) stop in Connecticut at the Mohegan Sun in April. Soon after, Cada will have his own self-inspired line of clothing with the company.
“I’m pumped to be a part of the Shodown Pro Team and really looking forward to helping design my signature series,” Cada stated during the announcement. “The guys at Shodown not only understand fashion that appeals to poker players like me, but they are also poker players themselves and grind as hard as we do.” Cada’s agent, Dan Frank of Top Set Management, echoed Cada’s sentiments and said it was difficult to find sponsorship deals that went in line with Cada’s persona. “Shodown struck a chord with us, as they are the underdog, just like we are. Their work ethic echoed our own and we appreciate that,” Frank stated.
Cada becomes a member of a formidable stable of players being sponsored by Shodown Couture. Cada joins two other players on the Shodown Pro Team who are quite successful in their own right. 2006 WSOP Main Event runner-up and 2007 National Heads-Up Poker Championship winner Paul Wasicka is one of Cada’s teammates. Also flanking Cada is the youngest player ever to win on the European Poker Tour (EPT), top online and live player Mike “Timex” McDonald. Both were excited to team up with Cada and look forward to assaulting the tables not only through their play, but also through their clothing styles.
“I’m ecstatic that Joe Cada has joined the Shodown Pro Team,” Wasicka enthusiastically commented. “He represents the brand ideals perfectly and I can’t wait to see what designs come out of this.” McDonald agreed with Wasicka and was quite pleased with the addition of Cada to the squad: “I love being a part of the Shodown Pro Team. I’ve been waiting to see who we were adding to the team and needless to say, I am pleased.”
The Shodown Couture line features shirts that are made from bamboo fibers, which makes them a perfect choice of clothing for players who have to deal with extreme temperature changes that can be found in poker rooms. The line offers unique designs that not only feature a poker theme, but also are aggressive, eye-catching, and fashionable. Shirts from Shodown Couture start at $49.99 and are currently available online only, but plans are in place for Shodown Couture’s apparel to move into retail outlets by mid-2010