Not a lot about Valentine’s Day gifts screams sports fan. Flowers, heart-shaped boxes of candy, Mylar balloons of a cherub with a bow and arrow. Well, technically, archery is a sport, but that’s a bit of a stretch.
However, there’s plenty out there targeted to the sports fans on Valentine’s Day, with a little creative thinking. And if you’re among the millions scrambling today to get your loved one a last-minute gift, we’ve got a few suggestions as to what you might want to grab and what you might want to avoid.
At the moment, pretty much anything affiliated with Victor Cruz is proving to be a can’t miss. The New York Giants’ receiver helped kick off New York Fashion Week just days after winning Super Bowl XLVI, and as it turns out, he knows a thing or two about the fashion industry. Cruz and business partner and Jacksonville Jaguar Nate Collins also have their own clothing line, Young Whales.
The line, which boasts shirts and sweatshirts, is doing well. Similar to the expectations people have for Cruz next season, only bigger things are expected of the line in the year to come. If you’re shopping for someone who’s a fan of the next big thing, something from the Young Whales line might be just the Valentine’s gift you want.
Speaking of athletes and lifestyle clothing lines – and there’s a number of athletes attempting to get into the fashion game – say hello to Rich Soil. Owned by Dallas Mavericks forward and reality star Lamar Odom, this is the perfect gift if you’re shopping for the sports fan that loves any and everything touched by the overarching Karadashian empire. Not a lot of takers in the sports world? Oh.
Once upon a time, golfers were defined by weird pants.
If you’re looking for a fashionable gift for the golf fan, you can’t go wrong with Adidas. Golf brand TaylorMade is a subsidiary of Adidas and boasts more PGA pros than any other label out there, including Spanish golfer Sergio Garcia. Their clothing is made with golfers in mind, and is the kind of thing you wouldn’t be embarrassed wearing in public.
A few years ago, you also couldn’t go wrong with something from Nike’s Tiger Woods collection. But while Woods might be making a comeback on the golf scene, he’s certainly not winning over many new fans. A recent survey found him to be the No. 2 most-disliked athlete in America. Not exactly the kind of guy whose products you want to buy your loved one.
Oh, and one other line you likely want to stay away from, John Daly-sponsored Loudmouth Golf. Well, unless you’re looking for a gift for the kind of guy that appreciates $100 “Captain Thunderbolt” or zebra-striped pants – in which case, this is the label for you.
Perhaps you’ve got a lot of cash to spend. Then, a watch is a good gift for Valentine’s Day.
World No. 2 tennis player Rafael Nadal knows a thing or two about being elite -- and that certainly applies to his watch endorsement. The Spanish star partnered with watchmaker Richard Mille on the RM027, which generated plenty of press and retailed for right around $525,000. A bit out of your price range? Well, Richard Mille watches can be found online retailing for around $50,000 or so. You can’t put a price on love.
If you’re looking for something slightly cheaper, you could always opt for a watch from Sector. Endorsed by Kris Humphries (yes, somehow we’ve ended up circling back to the Kardashians again), this brand of timepiece will run you slightly less – styles start as low as $60 online. And, of course, nothing says romantic gift like an endorsement from someone whose 72-day marriage we all got to see crash and burn on Reality TV.
OK, so a luxury watch might be a bit out of your price range. We get it. How about something on the other end of the spectrum? That’s right, underwear. Hey, people have been buying their Valentines underwear for years, and athletes are no strangers to the underwear endorsement game either.
Look no further than this year’s Super Bowl ads. You know the one of a stripped-down soccer star David Beckham selling underwear. That spot alone cost $3 million, but the underwear itself retails for less than $15. If that’s not enough to make you run out to H&M, apparently nothing will.
If you need more than a single athlete endorser to sway you to make a purchase, Beckham, Nadal and boxing star Victor Ortiz all have taken it all (almost) off for Emporio Armani.
Or you could…
Go the traditional route. No, we’re not suggesting roses and bonbons. (Although pretty much everyone loves chocolate, sports fans included.) You know the kind of things that sports fans are pretty much guaranteed to love: hats, jerseys, baseball tickets (Opening Day is just weeks away). That, of course, is if you want to take the easy route.
Maria Burns Ortiz is a freelance sports journalist, chair of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists' Sports Task Force, and a regular contributor to Fox News Latino. Follow her on Twitter: @BurnsOrtiz
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