Steiner Sports announced recently that it had inked a six-figure deal with Rice which will make him their latest exclusive signee.
Though the Steiner Sports roster is heavy on athletes who star for New York teams, the company doesn’t hesitate to sign players from other cities when it sees a good fit. And Rice has multiple connections to the New York-New Jersey region anyway, having grown up in New Rochelle and starred for Rutgers in college.
Still, Steiner Sports founder Brandon Steiner didn’t allow sentimentality play a part in partnering with Rice.
"I’ve known Ray a long time, and it’s great that he’s from New Rochelle, but you don’t let emotion influence business decisions," Steiner said to the Newark Star-Ledger. "We see Ray Rice – because of the person he is and the player he has become – as a good investment."
Steiner plans on taking out a billboard ad soon to let the world know he’s brought Rice on board. Collectors won’t have to wait long before they can get their hands on the fruits of the union, either, as pre-orders are already being accepted for autographed memorabilia from Rice’s first private signing, scheduled for February 20.
Currently, Steiner Sports offers autographed photos of Rice from his Rutgers days. A signed 8×10 picturing Rice celebrating a touchdown in the 2008 International Bowl goes for $99.99, while a 16×20 of the back in action against Louisville costs $119.99.
Rice joins some pretty impressive names as a Steiner exclusive, including the likes of New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter, New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, New Jersey Devils goalie Martin Brodeur and Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce.