When artist Jason Hulfish created a pair of Buccaneers inspired cleats to auction off for Derrick Brooks Charities, a Tampa-based charity that supports underprivileged youth, he had no idea he was about to launch a fashion trend that would take the entire Buccaneers team by storm.
As soon as players saw the cleats at the auction they began to request pairs of their own. Next thing Jason knew, his studio looked like a football cleat storage locker.
“Yea these cleats are incredible,” said Tampa Bay defensive tackle, Gerald McCoy. “People are losing their minds!!”
Hulfish, an American artist and designer with Jason Hulfish Design Studios, whose work has been featured on TV shows like “Extreme Home Makeover,” “Bar Rescue,” and “Tree House Masters,” was a bit overwhelmed at the quick popularity of the cleats himself.
“I think the cleat trend is so popular because it’s a simple way for the guys to inject their personality into the game and differentiate themselves from the other players,” commented Hulfish. “They can express their interests, charities, and attitude via the cleats.”
Tampa Bay players wear the cleats during practice and sometimes during warm-ups prior to the games. The league has strict uniform requirements but recently lifted them for one game out of the year. During this game, the players can wear custom cleats related to their charitable organization.
Hulfish and his team are currently exploring ways to create custom cleats that can be used for charitable donations other than just the one week event. They also are considering a line of signature designs, unique to each of the players, and then sold as a series.
But the real question on every Bucs fan’s mind: Will these cleats help Tampa Bay clinch the playoff run they so nearly missed last year?
Only time will tell.
In the meantime, follow The Hulfish Project on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/thehulfishproject/) to see which custom cleats each player will be wearing and the new designs Jason creates each week.