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SpongeBob Football Fans Can Wear Their NFL Pride

Two years after SpongeBob SquarePants’ tragically brief Super Bowl halftime cameo, the classic sea-faring cartoon character has returned to the world of American football.

Graphic tee company Junk Food Clothing, in partnership with Nickelodeon, the NFL and ViacomCBS Consumer Products, dropped a collection of football-themed SpongeBob apparel Wednesday, despite a 7 percent dip in the NFL’s recent-season viewership, according to Sportico, which is owned by Sourcing Journal parent PMC. Designed by Philadelphia-based contemporary artist King Saladeen, the release includes short-sleeve T-shirts and hooded fleeces for adults and children.

The NFL x SpongeBob SquarePants Junk Food Collection by King Saladeen will support the special “slime-filled” presentation of Sunday’s NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon, the kids’ network said.

“We are thrilled to produce a collection of apparel in partnership with Nickelodeon, Junk Food Clothing and King Saladeen,” Rhiannon Madden, the NFL’s vice president of consumer products, said in a statement. “The collection showcases a unique combination of styles and inspirations that will surely excite fans of all ages ahead of the NFL Wild Card Game on Nickelodeon.”

The collection is now available on the official online NFL and SpongeBob shops, as well as Junk Food Clothing and King Saladeen’s websites. According to the NFL store, items in the collection will ship no later than Jan. 15.

The football-themed apparel drop arrives a month ahead of the long-delayed U.S. premiere of “The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge on the Run.” Originally slated to hit cinemas last summer, the film’s theatrical release was cancelled in June due to the pandemic.

In May—a month before this decision was made— another apparel brand debuted its own, higher-end take on the classic cartoon sponge. Wren + Glory, a New York City label known for its creative, hand-painted denim jackets, teamed up with Nickelodeon to release a selection of SpongeBob-themed pieces. Sporting the cartoon icon and many of his signature phrases, the items sold for between $395 and $425.