08 Apr 19
11 May 18
Kevin Durant has turned a criticism into a clever marketing ploy. When the Finals MVP left Oklahoma City for the Golden State Warriors in free agency last offseason, fans deemed it a weak move, with some going as far as calling him a “cupcake” for bolting to play for the team that knocked him out of the playoffs. In fact, when he returned to Oklahoma City to face the Thunder last season, one fan even dressed as a cupcake. But the worm has turned. On Nike’s website, Durant’s new sneakers, set to release on Sept. 1, have a very interesting theme. The sneakers, which are deemed as the “Red Velvet” KD 10s, have a rather unique backdrop of … yep, you guessed it, cupcakes!
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.
Adidas has lost traction in the basketball shoe market and had only a 2.6% market share last year, down from 5.5% in 2013. This week it announced it would not renew its NBA uniform deal after it expires in 2017.