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How an Old Spice Branded Bathrobe Became the Star of the NFL Draft

April 28, 2020 | Joseph Myers

This season had figured to be an interesting one for the Raiders anyway, what with their move from Oakland to Las Vegas. On Thursday, though, they made headlines way ahead of the start of their first Vegas-based campaign by drafting wide receiver Henry Ruggs III. Ruggs, of course, was rocking an Old Spice branded bathrobe as a part of his big night, which quickly became the talk of the internet. Turns out, it was in support of a good cause!

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFL conducted its draft virtually, giving the former Alabama star a chance to show off his fashion sense among loved ones. The move, though, was not merely the result of Ruggs’ extremely laid back lifestyle.

Rather, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, he donned the Old Spice item to shine light on the company’s $320,000 United Way donation on behalf of rookies like Ruggs. The money will end up earmarked for the league’s 32 teams to enhance their community efforts. Given that the NFL had already been involved with the United Way, among others, to assist hard-hit communities as the pandemic continues to take its toll on the nation, the decision to have Ruggs highlight Old Spice’s connection to the United Way offers us another example of the cohesive fight against the malady.

Regarding the bathrobe, it certainly looked comfy, even if it didn’t wow anyone in terms of its nondescript design. But it should draw attention to Old Spice through a well-placed branded product. We wonder how Ruggs, who ended up being the first wideout to go in the unprecedented draft, won the honor to wear it and how his connection to Old Spice might play out as he prepares for his initial season with the Raiders.

Since COVID-19 has pretty much placed the entire athletic world in a wait-and-see pattern (and because it seems that the NFL is a constant topic for sports analysts year-round), the next few months figure to yield plenty of discussions on how rookies might prove difference-makers for their clubs, making it a given that Ruggs’ name will come up. When it does, we would bet good money (hey, he now plays for a team based in Las Vegas, after all) that someone will remember his draft night wardrobe, thus giving Old Spice lasting recognition well into the fall.

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