Rafael Nadal, Zinedine Zidane, even Andy Carroll, being a star on the field is increasingly leading to being a star off it, too.
There's no doubting that being in great shape is helpful to your aspirations to be a model, but there's a n increasing number of professional athletes who are becoming global ambassadors and featuring in advertising campaigns for a number of different high street brands. While it's nothing new to see stars backing brands like Adidas, Under Armour or Nike, in the last while there has been a huge number of sporting greats lining up to appear on billboards and in ads that showcase them looking dapper off the field.
Zinedine Zidane x H.E. by Mango
Previous to Zidane, H.E. by Mango also worked with Gerard Piqué as a spokesperson for their brand, but in their 2015 Spring/Summer collection (available from Arnotts here in Ireland), they've opted for one of the greats of the game who is now retired, Zinedine Zidane. Hoping perhaps to transition from being seen as a very young brand to look at a different demo, Zidane will certainly give the brand plenty of exposure in Spain, where he's working with Carlo Ancelotti at Real Madrid, and further afield too. A slightly unusual choice, so it will be interesting to see how this works.
Rafael Nadal x Tommy Hilfiger
Just a few short weeks ago, tennis superstar Rafael Nadal was announced as the brand ambassador for Tommy HIlfiger's tailored and underwear lines, and the brand is looking to make a few changes with him as the face of their campaign. Although the Nadal promotion has been fairly low key as of yet, it will kick off in earnest with the Spring/Summer collection this year, and the Autumn/Winter collection where he'll feature heavily. The classic American style of Hilfiger will get a bit of an update too, as they're promising new fits, revamped fabrics and elevated details that will make the collection stand out.
David Beckham x H&M, Belstaff
David Beckham was one of the first to really throw himself in to the whole sports star/model career (after David Ginola's hair and Freddi Ljungberg's abs) and has been hugely successful at it. Most recently, he's had another range of loungewear with H&M that sold pretty well the last time and will more than likely do the same this time around.
Add to that his work with Haig Club Whiskey and he's already got a busy schedule, but he's found time to do some more modelling work with Belstaff, who make luxury clothing and some pretty nice jackets for the discerning motorcycle owner. Beckham himself has been working on the biker look for the last year or so, and we will admit that we like the look of a lot of their pieces.
Andy Carroll also has done some work with H&M on their recent Alexander Wang collaboration, which went somewhat under the radar, but there's no doubting that he looked the part anyway.
Tommy Bowe XV Kings Ireland and Lloyd & Pryce
The Ulster and Ireland star is definitely a handsome man (we can't imagine many will be arguing that point) which is why he probably had little trouble finding clothing lines that he could model for. His collection of casual wear with XV Kings Ireland (his own brand) and footwear with Lloyd and Pryce has gotten a lot of attention for the brands involved here at home, and we're sure it hasn't hurt his modelling career either.
As one of the sharpest dressers in the NBA Dwyane Wade wasn't short of suitors looking for him to collaborate with their brand, we're sure. He chose to work with The Tie Bar in the US, and his collection of neckwear features pretty much any design of bow tie that you could hope for, and is bound to make you dapper in no time.
Last year for their Spring/Summer collection, Emidio Tucci teamed up with Real Madrid's Xabi Alonso, a man widely recognised as a pretty classy gent on and off the field. He's since moved on to Bayern Munich, and may well feature in a few more ads before he hangs up the boots, and probably afterwards too.