Buckeye stars C.J. Stroud and Jaxon Smith-Nijgba land massive brand deal with Columbus-based clothing company

Jack McLaughlin

Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud and wide receiver Jaxson Smith-Nijgba have held their own as the face of a powerhouse college football team, and now they’ll be the face of a national clothing brand as well.

That’s because the pair was announced today as Express, Inc.’s first-ever collegiate athlete style ambassadors.

“As we build and engage our styling community, we look for partners who embody our brand purpose to create confidence and inspire self-expression,” said Sara Tervo,  Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at Express in a press release. “CJ and Jaxon are two outstanding, influential college athletes from our corporate hometown of Columbus, Ohio and we expect that their  authenticity and relatability will appeal to our current customers as well as draw a new, younger  demographic to our brand.”


The duo will both take to their social media accounts and Express’ channels with regular tidbits about how they use fashion to “look and feel their most confident selves.”

The partnership comes less than a year after the NCAA began allowing players to make money through endorsement deals, brand partnerships, advertisements and more.

Stroud, who plans to participate in future Express campaigns as well, is slated to make regular appearances both digitally and in local Express stores.

“I’m excited to be the newest Express ambassador and talk about my personal style,” Stroud said in a press release. “Whether I’m dressing up for game day or hanging out with friends, my clothes  reflect how I’m feeling that day, and Express always comes through with different fits for all the occasions  in my life. When I put on a suit, I get a special feeling – it creates a whole new level of confidence and I’m  hoping to inspire others to feel that way every time they get dressed.” 

Want to read more? Check out our print publication, (614) Magazine. Learn where you can find a free copy of our new April issue here!


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