STEPHAN Schrock is one fine example of a world-class athlete who’s proud of his Filipino roots.
This rare combination of qualities easily endeared the 26-year-old right back/midfielder to fans of the Philippine Azkals, so much so that one of the country’s top sports outfitters lost no time in launching his own line of apparel.
Accel has made Schrock, the highest-paid Filipino player in Europe playing for Hoffenheim in the German Bundesliga, the latest endorser of its brand of football shoes designed to tap the growing football market in the country.
The SC Stephan was designed by Schrock himself and was crafted to boost his quickness and stability. It is emblazoned with Schrock’s signature and the ACCEL flash logo and was formally launched in Tuesday’s PSA Forum at Shakey’s Malate.
Owing to the Azkals' game against Turkmenistan later in the night in the AFC Challenge Cup qualifier at the Rizal Memorial football field, Schrock sent his regret for failing to attend the session presented by Shakey’s and the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation, but vows to come back once his brand is made available in the market by middle of the year.
“He apologizes for failing to come over since we all know the Azkals have a game against Turkmenistan later on. But he sends his warm regards and says he hopes to see you again once he returns for a longer vacation in June or July,” said Mel Macasaet of Melmac Sports Management, the sporting agency which handles Schrock and other Azkals team member such as Eduard Sacapano, Jason de Jong, Ian Araneta, as well as basketball star Arwind Santos.
Macasaet was joined in the forum by Azkals team coordinator Patrick Ace Bright and Accel marketing head Jacob Manlapaz.
Manlapaz said Schrock signed a five-year contract with the sports outfitter, becoming the third member of the national football team to be given his own line of apparel after two-time PSA Mr. Football awardee Chieffy Caligdong and Misagh Bahadoran.
The Accel Shrocky Shoes will be made available in the market, according to Manlapaz, between June and July when Schrock comes over with his wife and kid for a three-week vacation.
During his stay, the football star who’s born to a German father and Filipina mother, will have a meet-and-greet session with local sports fans.
Manlapaz bared that Schrock, who was to leave for Europe hours after the Azkals-Turkmenistan match, himself wanted a Filipino brand of shoes to support him and his campaign.
“Kaya natuwa kami at kami ang nilapitan niya,” said the Accel executive.
Schrock has been with the Azkals for two years now.