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Shoeless Matt: Draft Prospects Yet To Sign Any Footwear Deals
Published April 23, 2009
|Crabtree Among Draft Prospects
Yet To Sign Footwear Deal
COMPANIES NOT SHOWING MUCH INTEREST: Many agents and footwear marketers were unwilling to talk on the record about the depressed rookie market. However, there was unanimity that footwear companies were showing less interest in draft prospects than at any time in memory. "Nike and Reebok have decided what Coke and Pepsi did several years ago," said an agent for a player who is a likely top-three pick. "They can't afford to bid each other into oblivion." In a draft where a skill player may not be the first overall pick, Illinois-based Burns Entertainment & Sports Marketing President Doug Shabelman said, "No one sees a Reggie Bush/gotta have guy in this draft, as far as an endorser." Shabelman: "There's a general freeze when it comes to athlete endorsements, but the absence of footwear deals, which is where you've often seen the first money being spent on NFL rookies, is another indicator that there's a bit of a stop sign on the sports economy."