Nas Explains Fila Deal

On the eve of the release of his highly anticipated and controversial tenth album, Queensbridge rapper Nas has inked a one-of-a-kind partnership with Fila.

The Italian sportswear brand has chosen Nas to represent it’s new Fila Italia Footwear Collection, serving as the new line’s “sole ambassador.”

As part of their new deal, Fila will release a series of ads this month to commemorate both the July 15 release of Nas’ Untitled album and the launch of the Fila Italia Collection in stores nationwide.

On the album’s release date, BET will exclusively run a series of ads featuring Nas as he speaks on his experiences with the Fila brand.

“The first person that was close to me with a pair of Fila's was my younger brother,” Nas recalls. “I remember being scared for him. The sneakers were from a prestigious brand, a new brand to our neighborhood. Fila represented money, style and success. My best friend [Ill] Will and I loved Fila. It represented prestige and everything that was cool to us. When Will passed, we buried him in a black Fila sweat suit, so doing a deal with them has a lot of significance for me."

The Fila marketing campaign will also include online ads, print ads, retail promotions, and tour support.

The Fila Italia Collection will be available in stores starting with the Holiday 2008 season.

In a statement, Fila expressed pride in having the opportunity to build a relationship with an artist of Nas’ caliber, as the company continues to set itself apart from other sportswear brands in today’s industry.

“It is not every day that a musical artist such as Nas comes into Fila and speaks from his heart,” said Fila President Jon Epstein. “When Nas speaks, consumers listen. He is the truth and has real meaning and like Nas, Fila stands for something.”