FORMER Nike shop assistant Jordan Dawson is coining it in by selling his unique designs to footballers.
The 27-year-old Chelsea fan can counts Declan Rice, Tariq Lamptey, Adama Traore and even Romeo Beckham as clients with his handcrafted artwork on footwear, including football boots and trainers.
And they pay up to £2,500 for a pair of the customised cleats to wear during Premier League games and for training.
“I customised trainers – working with Adidas, Nike and Puma for about five years,” Dawson told SunSport.
“I got invited to the launch of FIFA 20 by EA Sports, and I had my own booth there where I customised shoes for Kaka and Callum Hudson-Odoi.
“I got approached by someone at BBC Sport who asked me if I’d ever thought about customising boots.
“I hadn’t, but it gave me the idea to offer that service to the players.”
The first to jump on the trend was West Ham and England star Declan Rice.
“The first pair I made for a footballer was for Declan,” Dawson continued.
“It really snowballed after he shared it on Instagram, and I got more clients.
“Lucas Digne, who was at Everton at the time, got in touch and asked for me to make some for him.
“Adebayo Akinfenwa, who was at the FIFA event, also wanted a pair which have ‘Beast Mode’ on them.
“I’ve been doing that since 2021, and was able to quit my day job to focus solely on that.”
Dawson revealed how he scouts for business – using Instagram to reach out to the pros and show them his ideas.
“If I approach a footballer, I just message them, introduce myself, and see if they are interested.
“If they are, then put together a mock-up design and they will often come back to me with what they like and don’t like.
“With Declan we spoke at the FIFA event, I chased him up on Instagram, and he got back to me with his number.
“We spoke and he just said he wanted something with England on them, as well as his nickname ‘Deccers’.
“He loved the mock-up, but he was hands-on with the design, saying he wanted things moved around.
“He’s a really nice guy. We didn’t just have a work-based conversation, he asked what I was doing today. He’s so down-to-earth.”
With his clientele being sports stars who earn tens of thousands of pounds, and Jordan needing to make a livelihood, he can charge up to £2,500 for his designs, which take him around two days to create.
He said: “It depends on the design (how much they cost).
“Sometimes I do things for charity, like a did a pair for Usain Bolt that he wore for Soccer Aid.
“I told him I didn’t want any money for them, and if he wanted to sell them and donate the money to charity that would work.
“Obviously this is my living, so I have to charge for it.
“If there’s some exposure involved, that helps too. The most I’ve received for a pair of boots is £2,500.”
Players have to ask for permission from their boot sponsors if they’re allowed to wear the custom designed boots during games.
While others tend to use them training with their teams, or to put on their shelves.
Jordan admitted when he sees players wearing them in games, it gives him a huge buzz.
“It’s a dream come true. I grew up living with football. And I always had a love for art and football.
“Seeing footballers wear them on the pitch is just incredible. Seeing them score goals, or assist, nothing can beat that feeling.”