Shoes Rumors

Injuries have hampered its top two signature athletes, Derrick Rose and Dwight Howard, in recent years. Adidas bet the farm on Rose in 2012 to the tune of $185 million over 13 years after his MVP season the previous year. The Chicago Bulls’ point guard has been snakebitten ever since. The latest blow was a torn meniscus in his right knee last month that required surgery. Sales of Rose’s Adidas signature shoes fell 20% last year to $32 million. Howard was never a big seller for Adidas and his signature shoe has now basically fallen off the map. Sales plummeted 70% last year to only $1.5 million or less than James’ racks up in two days. Adidas has shifted its attention more to John Wall and Damian Lillard over the past year.
Irving is an up and coming player to watch. His first signature Nike shoe was released in December, and it racked up $7 million in sales during its first three months. The profile of the Cavaliers’ point guard has surged with the arrival of James in Cleveland. The Cavs are featured the NBA maximum of 25 times on broadcast partners ESPN/ABC and TNT. “You have to be in front of the public to get things rolling. That is why Kyrie came out of the box strong,” says Annunziata.
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The biggest gainer among NBA players with signature shoes was Kobe Bryant. The Los Angeles Lakers’ guard has been a linchpin for Nike for years in China, where Bryant is adored. His U.S. shoe sales more than doubled last year to $105 million, up from $50 million, despite Bryant missing most of the past two seasons with injuries. Credit Nike’s new Flyknit technology, which it incorporated into the Kobe 9 (Nike also pushed the sale price to $200). “Nike continues to reinvent new technologies on a regular basis, and they have instant credibility when they introduce a new technology in basketball,” says Annunziata.
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LeBron James remains the biggest endorsement star in the sport with estimated earnings of $44 million this year off the court, and he is still the king when it comes to moving product. Nike sold $340 million worth of James’ signature shoes in the last 12-months through January, up 13% from the prior year, according to SportScanInfo. It is nearly double the amount of the NBA’s second best seller, Kevin Durant. Durant’s KD signature line of sneakers had sales of $195 million in 2014 for Nike, up 11% from the prior year. This follows a meteoric 400% rise in 2013 when Nike flooded the market with the popular KD VI. The low-top version of the this season’s KD7 in flashy colors like teal and pink is a bit hit with female teens, according to SportScanInfo footwear analyst Andy Annunziata, who compiled the sales data for Forbes. Nike made a huge bet on the NBA’s reigning MVP last summer when it inked Durant to a 10-year contract extension that could pay as much as $300 million, including royalties. It is the richest player endorsement deal in the history of sports.
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Sols, a 3D printing company, may change how shoes are built for customers. Sols’ goal is to essentially eliminate shoe sizes — with three pictures of a customer’s foot, Sols can create a custom orthotic and from there build the custom shoe. Knicks star Carmelo Anthony is a main investor in the company. The general idea would be that Sols creates the base of the shoe and any leathers on top of the shoe could be created around that base. Have high arches? No problem, Sols will be custom fitted to your specific foot. In between sizes? Once again, it won’t matter because each base of the shoe is custom built.
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The 6,600-square-foot white traditional he recently purchased with Azalea — which used to be owned by singer-actress Selena Gomez — is a monument to his passions. The property, tucked behind a gate in the San Fernando Valley neighborhood of Tarzana, comes with a detached building that Young is converting into a “shoe house.” He employs not one but two “shoe keepers,” who oversee his 500-plus pairs of sneakers, a collection that includes Vans fitted with roller-skating wheels. As Young leads a tour from shoe house to main quarters, he pretends he is on MTV Cribs. Off the kitchen is a replica of the hollywood sign over a red carpet. In the billiards room is a 10-by-10-foot mural, painted by graffiti artist Dame MSK that incorporates a cartoon basketball with arms forming the three-point goggles. In the living room is a set of eight whoopee cushions, presumably for two-year-old Nick Jr., who shows less interest in them than his dad. And behind the bar are two oversized neon letters, s and p, the orange p familiar because it was once part of a Home Depot marquee. These are the initials of Young’s self-manufactured alter ego, a loopy but lovable character named Swaggy P, who fires 35-foot jumpers, attempts 360-degree layups and sometimes even makes them.
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adidas officially unveiled the first signature shoe for Damian Lillard on Tuesday, the D Lillard 1. We’ll have a full launch event recap in the days ahead, featuring comments from the designers and from Lillard himself. But for now, here’s a first look at the shoes, and some of the different colorways that will be releasing. The D Lillard 1 Rip City version in Blazers colors launches at adidas and Foot Locker on February 6 for $105.
CounterKicks Exclusive: Back in May we broke the story on Kevin Garnett’s brand switch from adidas to ANTA at the tail end of last year’s NBA season and now we can officially confirm another endorsement change up to launch the new 2010-11 NBA season tonight: Ron Artest has left PEAK and has signed an endorsement deal with BALL’N. Full story and brand statements from both PEAK and BALL’N to CounterKicks follow below. Continue reading for the exclusive details behind Ron Artest’s new endorsement signing with BALL’N.
For the first time in its 64-year history, the National Basketball Association (NBA) has banned a new line of shoes based on the league’s rule against an “unfair competitive advantage” that increases a player’s vertical leap. The league’s ban on Athletic Propulsion Labs’ Concept 1 confirms the company’s claims that the shoe, with its Load ‘N Launch™ Technology, performs as advertised. No professional player will be allowed to wear the product in games for the upcoming 2010-2011 NBA season. This action comes on the 25th anniversary of the NBA’s ban on Nike’s Air Jordan shoes, albeit for reasons of their colorful appearance rather than any performance advantage.
Reebok released pictures of John Wall’s new signature shoe the ZigTech Slash Limited Edition Gold Colorway and well, let’s just say the reaction has been mixed. Mixed as in most people think they are hideous. Have a look: Wall signed a reported $25 million deal with Reebok this summer to be one of their top endorsers. So his signature shoe is definitely one of the prized releases by the company. But as savvy NBA business-head Nate Jones said, the key to a signature shoe is both style and substance. It’s got to be a shoe somebody doesn’t just want to run a couple of pick-up games on, but also a pair of kicks that you can wear with some jeans and a t-shirt. I don’t know if Wall’s ZigTech Slashes are something you want to be seen in off the blacktop.
Since news leaked Tuesday night that Lin would sign with the NBA’s Golden State Warriors, Lin has been approached with a number of endorsement opportunities, including a shoe deal, his agent Roger Montgomery told The Crimson today morning. When Lin signs with the Warriors on Wednesday at 11 a.m. PST in Oakland, Calif., he will become just the fourth Asian American to sign an NBA contract—making him the perfect marketing opportunity with the strong Asian American community in the San Francisco Bay Area. “I think he’s going to shore up our backcourt—that’s for sure,” said Robert Rowell, president of the Warriors. “I also think the signing is going to be great for the Bay Area market. I think he is going to be a lightning rod… We have a very large fan contingent that will be excited to have Jeremy on our team.”