What is NOBULL? Everything to know about the 2023 NFL Combine sponsor

For the first time since 2008, the NFL Combine is getting a new sponsor. NOBULL, a training apparel and footwear company, will become the NFL’s official combine training partner and official on-field supplier of apparel and headgear to the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Prospects called up must wear NOBULL gear for all activities on and off the field.

With signage and gear expected to be prominently displayed throughout the event, The Sporting News decided to take a deep dive into exactly what NOBULL is and if they will be your new go-to for sportswear.

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What is NOBULL?

Founded in 2015 by Marcus Wilson and Michael Schaeffer, NOBULL is a Boston-based athletic footwear and apparel company. The two had previous experience as Reebok employees and decided to use it to carve out their own path in the industry.

Wilson led Reebok’s brand strategy from 2004 to 2007, while Schaeffer was the company’s global creative director from 2005 to 2012. After leaving Reebok, the duo met weekly at a diner where the idea eventually materialized and NOBULL was born.

A favorite of the CrossFit community, they specialize in making training shoes and apparel for “athletes who don’t believe in excuses.”

The company name is to be understood literally, underlined by the slogan “NOBULL – Just the horns”. It’s something of a rallying cry for potential customers and can often be seen through marketing campaigns.

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Fans of NOBULL point out that the brand’s “aggressive simplicity” has made it so popular by putting people, not products, first. “It doesn’t make you fitter” is just another common statement the company makes about its products.

NOBULL is primarily an online retail store with only one physical store in Miami. According to their website, their New York City and Boston locations remain closed due to COVID-19.

Your product should not be flashy, but uncomplicated and practical. Knowing that it would be difficult to compete with the industry giants, Nike and Adidas, Wilson and Schaeffer set out to design a shoe that could do a little bit of everything, as opposed to some of the specific applications that competitors have offer the same product.

The NFL Combine is just the latest sponsorship deal the brand has landed. They became the official title sponsor and apparel brand of the CrossFit Games in 2021. In 2022, they added the PGA Tour to the growing brand, becoming the “Official Training Apparel and Footwear of the PGA Tour and PGA Tour Champions” and umbrella sponsor of the PGA Tour Active through 2027.

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Why is NOBULL sponsoring the NFL Combine?

NOBULL first entered the NFL sphere by signing Patriots QB Mac Jones to an endorsement deal in 2021.

Draft prospects for 2023, QB Will Levis and RB Deuce Vaughn are currently partners of the brand.

“The NFL Scouting Combine is an unrivaled opportunity for prospects to showcase their skills, and we’re excited to partner with global training brand NOBULL to enhance the experience for all attendees,” said Joe Ruggiero, SVP of consumer products at the NFL. “NOBULL will amplify the look of prospects and enhance the event at Lucas Oil Stadium, creating a special moment for prospects as they progress in their sporting journey.”

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They will also help the NFL redesign the prospecting experience off the field by adding a warm-up center, improving prospect registration, practice and recovery areas and the prospect lounge.

The 2023 combine will be the start of a multi-year agreement between the two parties. Fans can buy official NFL Combine gear directly from NOBULL’s website.

Who used to sponsor the NFL Combine?

The NFL Combine was previously sponsored by New Era from 2020-22 and Under Armor from 2009-19. Under Armor’s branding deal with the NFL was worth between $10 million and $15 million a year, according to the Financial Times.

Adidas also sponsored part of the event by bidding $1 million to every performer who broke the NFL Combine’s record for the 40-yard dash while wearing their new adizero 5-star 40.

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