Gridiron great Mike Ditka has just signed a partnership with Camacho Cigars where the Florida cigar company will create a series of new cigars bearing the Ditka name.
The smokes will be made at the Tabacos Rancho Jamastran factory in Danlí, Honduras, home to Camacho Cigars, and Ditka will serve as a brand ambassador, promoting the smokes at various events across the United States.
Ditka’s first appearance as brand ambassador will be in Orlando, Florida, next week at the Davidoff black-tie dinner at the International Premium Cigar & Pipe Retailers trade show. Camacho is a unit of Switzerland's Davidoff of Geneva. The first Ditka cigars made by Camacho will be out later this year.
“Ditka is an absolute legend, and I cannot express the excitement felt about this new partnership,” said Dylan Austin, head of marketing for Camacho, in a statement released today. “Coach truly embodies the bold and outspoken spirit of our brand and it’s great to have him as an ambassador and partner moving forward.”
“If I am going to put my name on something, it's gotta be the best. The product and the package are outstanding. I am really looking forward to this relationship,” said Ditka.
A storied veteran of the NFL, both as a coach and player, Ditka was the first draft pick of the Chicago Bears in 1961, fifth overall, and had a Hall of Fame career as a tight end, playing for the Bears, Philadelphia Eagles and Dallas Cowboys. He is in the record books as one of only two who can claim Super Bowls rings as a player (when he was with the Cowboys), as a coach (with the Bears, in 1986) and assistant coach (also with the Cowboys). He also won an NFL Championship while playing with the Bears.
Ditka began smoking cigars as a pro football player. "I smoked the Tiparillos, the Roi-Tans, Phillies, White Owls," Ditka told Cigar Aficionado in a February 1998 feature story. "You get better and better and you change, you get more sophisticated. First of all, you smoke what you can afford to buy. In those days I was not making enough to smoke what I do now."
This isn’t Ditka’s first foray into the cigar world. In 1997 he invested in a Chicago cigar rolling operation, and in 2001 he worked with the Garzaroli family in the Bahamas to make the Mike Ditka Championship Line.
To read the Cigar Aficionado profile on Mike Ditka, click here.