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SHOES YOU CAN USE: DID MARBURY GAMBLE AND LOSE ON SHOE DEAL?
Published November 2, 1998
T-Wolves G Stephon Marbury "bet that he could double or triple the estimated" $1.5M a year he was to receive for wearing AND 1 shoes, but found "no takers" after agent Eric Fleisher "peddled him all spring and summer to just about every large athletic footwear manufacturer in the business," according to Jeff Manning of the Portland OREGONIAN. Nike spokesperson Vizhier Mooney: "We do think [Marbury] is a great athlete. But in this environment we just have to exercise more discipline in signing new players." Manning called Marbury's situation "the most stunning sign to date of just how drastically the endorsement business has changed for athletes." Fleisher, who Marbury dropped early this month for David Falk, said that Marbury rejected "more than one firm offer." Reebok offered him "between $750,000 and $900,000 a year, [but] no signature shoe," and asked him to wear their Allen Iverson model. Reebok VP/Sports Marketing John Frascotti said that NBA "starters who drew $300,000 to $700,000 just last year can now expect annual" shoe deals of $50,000 to $150,000 (Portland OREGONIAN, 10/31). LOCKOUT FALLOUT: Sporting Goods Intelligence Editor Bob McGee, on the effects of the lockout on the athletic shoe industry: "It hasn't reached the proportion where people are signalling the death knell for basketball, but it won't help its revival." Venator Group spokesperson Juris Pagrabs: "If the lockout is prolonged, we'd expect it to be negative to our business" (ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 10/26).