Everyone has heard about professional athletes and their lucrative endorsement deals, and it's not surprising to learn of a major sponsorship pact ironed out between a big time pro or college coach and a company, either.
A high school coach landing an endorsement deal, on the other hand, is pretty rare. What's even more strange is when that coach is paid for his or her sartorial style. After all, most high school coaches are known more for their on field (or court, etc.) leadership, not their ability to class up their wardrobe.
Yet Carson (Calif.) High football coach Elijah Asante defies all those stereotypes. The coach of the California Interscholastic Federation City Section semifinalist Colts has worn a full suit and tie to each and every Carson game this season, and according to the Los Angeles Times, there's a good reason for that: His wardrobe is being supplied by a nearby menswear company as part of a deal he has with the company.
You can see Asante in all his dapper glory -- as outfitted by SW Suits of Carson (beware: that link goes to one of the great cheesy YouTube ads of all-time) -- above as he hypes up his team after a first round playoff victory against Los Angeles (Calif.) Garfield High. Whether the suit provides added emphasis for the players is unknown, but his comments after the game to prep reporter Erik Sarni show that his suit tends to stay pretty clean throughout the course of a tough game.
Asante certainly isn't the only high school coach in the nation with some kind of an endorsement deal, with other coaches working local sponsors into their youth camps and other private ventures. Still, Asante's suit deal might be the only sideline apparel pact held by a high school coach in the country.
It's certainly the only fine men's wear deal Prep Rally has encountered at the prep level, though judging by Asante's results at Carson -- the school was a City Section finalist in 2010 and is a game away from reaching that round again in 2011 -- it might not be the last.