BOSTON — Worth noting: Tom Brady is loyal.
The New England Patriots quarterback has been an official pitchman for Ugg since 2011, but the relationship dates back to high school, when he got his first pair of Ugg boots as a Christmas gift (from mom, purchased at Nordstrom.)
“It was a surf brand, and growing up in the Bay Area, we knew it was a Santa Barbara company,” he said, dressed in skinny jeans, black peacoat and Ugg Neumel boots for an early Monday interview at The Ritz Carlton Boston, before heading to practice the day after the Patriots suffered their second loss of the season, this time to the Philadelphia Eagles. “I don’t know whether I asked for the boots, or if she just chose them, but once you put them on? It’s like, ‘I’m not wearing anything else.’”
The brand was unknown in Michigan when Brady went off to college, so Mom sent pairs to him.
Currently, the Brady-Bündchen household is amply supplied with Ugg product, from scarves and coats to fluffy sheepskin rugs in the kids’ rooms.
“We have a bench when you come in the house, and underneath my wife has a basket full of slippers. Whenever we have people over, she’s like, ‘Help yourself.’”
Daughter Vivian, 3, has her own teeny pair of pink ones.
People are well aware of Brady’s connections to Ugg. His recent Facebook snap of his Ugg Grantt-slippered feet propped up in front of a fire garnered 211,000 likes and 11,000 shares. It sparked others to post and tag similar shots.
And Ugg is seizing the moment. The company is rolling out a social media campaign, timed to the holiday, #DoNothing, riffing off the idea that perhaps the ultimate luxury is a cozy moment to put your feet up. A company spokeswoman said the slippers are often men’s introduction to the brand, and once they’re sold on the comfort, they pursue other products. The men’s Neumel, a $130 sheepskin-lined modified chukka, is a bestseller this holiday. On the women’s side, the new classic slim collection, an Oprah “Favorite Things” pick, has performed well, particularly the Bethany and Kristin styles, each $160. On chilly games, the Pats cheerleaders dance in navy Ugg boots.
Asked if he has other go-to apparel beyond Uggs, Brady admitted that football season isn’t “the most fashionable time of my life. I think I’ve just been wearing sweatpants and hoodies for the last three months.” But those come courtesy of Under Armour, another long-term Brady partnership, which is developing a proprietary muscle-recovery technology that can be embedded into a range of fabrics. “Yeah, I’m wear-testing,” he said. “I’m basically a 38-year-old guinea pig.” Brady said Under Armour is planning to launch its recovery technology for fall 2016.
As for his Christmas list, the QB said it’s all about playing Santa — he has something planned for his offensive linemen. “I have fun with it. It’s always a surprise.”