Philadelphia 76ers star Joel Embiid knew there would be cameras all around him when his team hosted their preseason media day on Friday.
That’s why it was fascinating that the big man decided to wear Under Armour, despite his current contractual obligation to Adidas. Embiid’s endorsement with the brand is set to expire soon, however, which is why rocking a competitor is even more interesting.
According to Nick DePaula, most of these deals run until September 30. Here’s how the industry expert described what’s best for Embiid (via ESPN):
“[Any] potential endorsement deal with the 76ers center is less about marketing the specific shoe he ends up wearing, and much more about the visibility and energy that a brand could generate through his collective mastery of both Twitter and Instagram. Embiid could instantly do takeovers on brand accounts to grow their following with real-time stunts. He could lean on his legion of followers to rally behind supporting a new category slogan or campaign.”
The reason for the brand to target Embiid is obvious, considering his larger-than-life presence both on the court and off. He plays in a big media market and has a large fanbase online – it’s no surprise any company, especially one looking to make a splash, would want to sign the 24-year-old Embiid.
It’s hard to imagine why the Philadelphia star would land with this particular brand. Under Armour has provided shareholding options to their athletes in the past, which has helped Tom Brady receive a tremendous payday. Their stock was reportedly up 55.6 percent during the first half of this year. Overall, they were up 34.4 percent on the year as of just three days ago.
They recently surrendered their partnership agreement with the MLB, now instead refocusing to new ventures. Earlier this week, the company also cut three percent of its workforce. This decision alone reportedly increased their shares by five percent.
Fiscally, this may be reason enough to convince Embiid to switch to Under Armour. Aesthetically and performance-wise, however, it might be an even easier sell considering he wore the sneakers once again at training camp the following day.
According to DePaula, Embiid prefers “a no-frills, secure mid-cut model” when he is on the floor. The big man was wearing the HOVR Havoc Mid in Philadelphia. A recent review of the sneaker on SoleCollector.com described the shoe saying the “traction was solid, albeit relatively no frills” adding that it was supportive without feeling sloppy.
While it could be nothing, this is a situation where reading the tea leaves could prove to more fruitful than ignoring them.