Tim Howard joins Tag Heuer’s #dontcrackunderpressure family and unveils new MLS Connected dials

On a beautiful day in Chicago’s Millennium Park, one day before the 2017 MLS All-Star game, Tag Heuer announced their newest brand ambassador. Goalkeeper Tim Howard joins Cristiano Ronaldo to form the pillars of Tag Heuer’s soccer efforts. Watchonista was on hand for the announcement and spoke with Tim about his ambassadorship

By Josh Shanks

Tag Heuer’s #dontcrackunderpressure campaign shows no signs of stopping. The multi-year campaign has brought ambassadors from all walks of life. From Tom Brady to Bella Hadid, Tag Heuer knows how to identify and select some of the most in vogue celebrities and athletes.

Tim Howard joins elite company

For those unaware of Tim’s achievements, he’s the goalkeeper for the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team and he currently plays for the Colorado Rapids MLS team. He was the starting goalkeeper for the 2010 and 2014 World Cup Teams. Tim also led the U.S. Men’s National Team to win the 2017 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

Tim began his career playing with the MLS MetroStars team. After six seasons with the MetroStars, he signed with Manchester United F.C. Ultimately, Tim played 13 seasons in Europe between two Premier League Clubs; Manchester United F.C. and Everton F.C.

I first heard of Tim in 2012, when I saw an ABC News segment about Tim scoring a freak goal from 100 yards away. After the match (between Everton and Bolton) Tim apologized to the opposing team’s goalie for the wind assisted goal. That’s just the kind of grace and humility that Tim embodies.

On August 1, I flew to Chicago for the announcement, and after a light drizzle, we enjoyed a beautiful afternoon in Millennium Park with other journalists and kids from local youth soccer clubs. Former player Cory Gibbs introduced Tim as the brand ambassador to loud applause from the assembled crowd and onlookers that amassed around the perimeter of the park. After the announcement, Tim engaged the kids in a playful competition to see who could kick the ball most accurately towards Tag Heuer branded targets scattered across the field.

He’s a genuinely nice guy

Beyond his obvious athletic prowess, the first thing you notice when you meet Tim, is that he’s a genuinely nice guy. At the event, Tim spent 1-2 minutes with each child signing autographs and taking selfies, all with perfect patience and poise. Tag Heuer was smart to choose a fan friendly star like Tim.

After the announcement, I had the chance to sit down with Tim to discuss the partnership and his love of watches. Here are a few excerpts:

Josh Shanks: Hi Tim, thanks for taking the time today. How did this partnership come to life?

Tim Howard: It’s easy, when a company like Tag (Heuer) wants to work with you, you jump at the opportunity. It’s a classic, traditional company that’s always pushing boundaries, so for me it was a no brainer.

JS: Have you always been a watch guy?

TH: Yes! I’ve been asked that a few times, but yes, I have been. I couldn’t always afford nice watches, but when I started that process (playing soccer) I was into watches. I couldn’t get enough actually.

JS: What was your first watch?

TH: I can’t really remember, I started collecting over the years. My first one was probably in 1997, I had just signed my first contract and had a couple of hundred bucks and I bought what I thought looked like a nice watch at the time.

JS: So, Tag Heuer has released new faces today, obviously, you have a preference on your favorite. What are you wearing now?

TH: The one I’m wearing now (HEUER 01) is great

JS: Are you looking forward to tomorrow’s All-Star Game?

TH: Yea, it’s going to be exciting, it’s a pageant and spectacle for the fans. That’s why we’re here doing it, it’s fun to be a part of. We’d like to win and we’d like to play well and I think Real Madrid will say the same thing. Ultimately, it’s a sold-out Soldier Field with the fans who select you for the All-Star team and they pay the big money to see you play. It’s a pretty awesome thing.

JS: Now with such a well-known team, and within your career too, were there any players that you’ve come across that you were wowed by?

TH: We’ve got plenty of top players, but Kaká for me, was a guy who I played against. I’m older than him, but I remember when he was going to AC Milan when he was just a young kid, and everyone was talking about him it was crazy. To see his career trajectory has been pretty amazing. I played in the World Cup in Brazil and people were falling at his feel, it’s like he’s a god. It’s cool to be in his presence and play with him instead of against him.

JS: My last question, as we’ve seen the sport grow exponentially in the US, how do you see that growth continuing?

TH: I think there’s plenty of miles to go. Not only are we on the right path, I think everything we’re doing is with a vision to grow and get better. Right now, I feel like have a blueprint for it and we’re really not guessing anymore. This league is over 20 years old and we have things in place where we know it’ll work. I’m looking forward, I started my career here, and I’m mostly going to end it here. And in the future, I’d like to help grow this league. This game has given me so much and taken up so much of my life in a good way. I’d be remiss if I didn’t try to give back and do something else besides kicking the ball and saving it.

New Major League Soccer Dials

Coinciding with the 2017 MLS All-Star game, Tag Heuer has released new watch faces for the Connected Modular 45. All 22 MLS teams are represented and each dial was designed in collaboration with top players from each club. The dials are available now in the app store.

I also had the opportunity to attend the All-Star game. Soldier Field was packed to capacity with a record crowd of 61,428 in attendance. Tag Heuer was well represented as the official timekeeper. Tim successfully protected the MLS team’s goal for the first half of the game and Real Madrid couldn’t find an opening against him. However, in the second half Real Madrid scored, which brought a surprising number of Real Madrid fans to their feet. Their excitement was quickly quelled when the MLS All-Stars roared back and scored to tie the game. After 92 minutes, the tied game was settled with penalty kicks, with Real Madrid winning 4-2.

More information about the Tag Heuer Connected Modular 45 can be found here

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