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Darius Rucker’s new tour doesn’t start until February 17, 2022, in Philadelphia but we’re pretty confident that we already know what the country singer is going to be wearing that night. Call us shocked if the 55-year-old musician isn’t actually donning a Sherpa-lined Eagles vest when he hits the stage.
The fashion decision makes sense seeing as how the garment is one of the new pieces in the three-time Grammy winner’s just-debuted NFL x Darius Rucker Collection by Fanatics, available now on Fanatics.com.
The comfy, casual collection consists of 17 pieces, ranging from tees you can tour across America in, to coats warm enough to snuggle up with. Rucker says it was a no-brainer to work on this partnership, having been a longtime football fan — and someone who’s amassed his fair share of merch.
“I’ve gotten to do the anthem in quite a few NFL stadiums,” says Rucker, a die-hard Miami Dolphins fan. “And every time I go there, they always want me to wear their hat, jersey or T-shirt, but I will never do it out of my love for the Dolphins,” he tells Rolling Stone. “But I’m gonna tell you, every single night [of the new tour] I’m going to have on some team from my line. Whatever the team is closest to you.”
BCL Entertainment, a matchmaker of sorts for talent and brands, initially approached the one-time Hootie & The Blowfish lead singer with the partnership idea. “[BCL Entertainment] went to [the NFL] with the idea and then they came and asked me if I was interested,” says Rucker. “You’ve heard me for the last three minutes talking about the NFL. You can tell how much I love it. I have a jacket right next to me. When you look at the label, you see the NFL’s and my logo. ‘A dream come true’ is not even a fair thing for me to say ‘cuz I wouldn’t let myself dream something like this.”
Needless to say, sports apparel giant Fanatics also has strong feelings about the deal. “Sports and entertainment have incredible crossover appeal, and this is a great example of incorporating the worlds of pop culture and music into our business,” says Vicky Picca, Fanatics’ Senior Vice-President of Business Affairs, in a press release.
Items from the NFL x Darius Rucker Collection will come in all 32 NFL team logos. That means when Rucker is crooning songs like “My Masterpiece” from his still-untitled new album in Minneapolis on March 4, he can do so in a flannel Vikings shirt. And when it’s time for a throwback rendition of “Hold My Hand” or “Let Her Cry” in Detroit on March 25, he’ll likely do so while rocking a fleece Lions pullover.
“That was part of the thing, when we talked about it, that was really cool,” says Rucker. “After my manager first mentioned [the partnership], I thought they were gonna do the Dolphins [exclusively]. But when we started talking, it was every team. It was perfect. So many teams get neglected. Everybody’s buying the hot team or the Cowboys or whatever. To have it so every fan can get it was important to me and I love it.”