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Look good. Feel good. Play good. It’s not as important as X’s and O’s to a football team, but any athlete — or self-aware coach — will tell you that style can make a difference out on the field.

Of course, the difference-making factor of style is way down the list of things that actually matter, but if you feel like you’ve got swag, you play with swag, right? That’s not even mentioning the branding of a program and how a school comes across to recruits.

It all matters, just ask Oregon. So it makes sense why Ohio State will be using some fresh kicks for this weekend’s huge contest against Oklahoma. The No. 2 Buckeyes are taking on the No. 5 Sooners in the marquee clash of the college football weekend, and OSU will be taking the field in style.

They’ll also be taking the field in connection with one of the biggest names to come out of — and come back to — the state of Ohio: LeBron James:

The cleats are awesome and they’re definitely something to keep an eye on during the game — like, for instance, during a timeout — but consider the branding here.

Ohio State is openly pairing up with James, one of the greatest athletes of his generation and perhaps the greatest basketball player of all-time. Not only is James a basketball star, but he’s also a cultural icon as well.

This is smart branding turned up to ten. In fact, this is the type of branding moxie that turned Oregon into a national power.

The funny thing for Ohio State is this: It’s not like the Buckeyes needed that much help putting themselves on the radar.

They were already there. But now they’re there and they look awesome doing it.

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