SBD/Issue 177/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Garnett Reportedly Leaving Adidas For Chinese Brand Anta

Garnett Reportedly Will Opt Out Of Lifetime
Deal With Adidas For China-Based Anta

Celtics F Kevin Garnett has signed an endorsement deal with Chinese sportswear brand Anta and "will leave adidas at the end of the current NBA season," according to sources cited by The new partnership is "set to be officially announced later this summer in China." Garnett signed a "lifetime endorsement contract" with adidas in '03, but that contract "allows for an opt-out" after this season. adidas would not comment on the matter. Anta is "one of the emerging Chinese sportswear companies along with Li-Ning and PEAK who all have plans to make a run at the U.S. market in this coming decade" (, 5/24).

LOCATION IS RELATIVE: AD AGE's Jeremy Mullman writes Madison Avenue "isn't going to factor" in the decision of what team Cavaliers F LeBron James signs with when he becomes a free agent on July 1, "contrary to a much-asserted bit of conventional wisdom." Marketing Arm Account Dir Darin David said that "playing in a bigger market does nothing to inflate" James' value to sponsors. David: "Maybe 30 years ago that sort of thing mattered. But it really doesn't matter now." He argues that the "national TV structure and relative parity of leagues like the National Basketball Association and the National Football League essentially makes geography irrelevant." Mullman: "Case in point: The two busiest endorsers in team sports are Mr. James and Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning" (AD AGE, 5/24 issue).

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