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Rumors of retired NFL icon Tom Brady’s sports brand’s demise proved unfounded this week when the New England Patriots legend announced that he would be merging his TB12 health supplements and Brady clothing brands with cross-training equipment label, NoBull. The move has caught the attention of the business world, and divided consumers who took to social media to weigh-in on the announcement.
While NoBull was launched in 2015 by Marcus Wilson and Michael Schaffer (both former executives at Reebok), a majority stake in the company was acquired last year by businessman Mike Repole’s family investment office (they also own major stakes in BodyArmor, Vitaminwater and Smartwater). As rumors swirled that Tom Brady had ended his longtime business relationship with Alex Guerrero, the fate of Brady’s brands seemed dark, especially with his retail outlets reportedly closing. But, while Guerrero may be out, we now know that Repole is definitely on team Brady.
“I’m proud to announce that today, @tb12sports and @bradybrand are merging with @nobull, forming one complete wellness company that at its core, will help people become the best version of themselves,” confirmed Brady in an Instagram post on Jan. 02, 2024. “We’re going to push harder than ever to help EVERYONE find the path to success on their own journey. The goal for us is massive growth that will change the game in training and nutrition for the world. There’s no limit on how many people we can impact and that’s what I’m most excited about.”
Social media was divided on the news however, with some users feeling that Brady’s alleged awareness of a plot to deflate footballs as a means of cheating doesn’t line up with the ethos of sportsmanship that they look for in their brands. Brady was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season and for some people, memories run deep. One user on X (formerly Twitter) posted that they were going to cancel their order based on Brady being added to the Nobull bunch.
I just bought some @nobull training shoes for the gym over the weekend. Tom Brady just bought into it and his TB12 company is now their largest shareholder
I just cancelled the order
We don't support that over here
— Steve (@stevie2fruits) January 30, 2024
Others were pumped by the news however, and with Brady’s Instagram announcement hitting almost 250,000 likes in 24 hours, his influence off the field seems to be just as impactful as was on it. “Legendary move to make @TomBrady co owner of a great brand name @nobull,” said @heydannypeavey on X. “Interested to see what they produce!” said @sportsolicitor, also on X.
— Danny Peavey (@heydannypeavey) January 30, 2024
Both Brady and Repole were on the “Joe Pomp Show” earlier this week to discuss the merger in-depth, and with the idea of taking NoBull public not out of the of the question, it will be interesting to see how the new partnership develops. Whether they can keep a foothold in a saturated market place remains to be seen, but if their gear has the same longevity as it’s co-owner, then taking Brady on as a partner could prove to be a smart move.