SBD/Issue 64/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Foot Notes: LeBron James Leads Sneaker And Jersey Sales

Nike LeBron VIII Was Best-Selling Basketball
Shoe During The Month Of November

Heat F LeBron James “heads into the holiday season with the best selling basketball shoe and the best selling jersey," according to Darren Rovell of CNBC.com. SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell said that Nike’s LeBron VIII, which hit stores on Oct. 26, is the “best selling basketball shoe for the month of November” and that sales of the shoe generated 20% “more business than the next most popular basketball shoe that month, the Jordan IX.” Powell “admits that Nike gave LeBron the chance to sell well because of the quantity of the shoe that it made, but the fact that they sold the way they did at a $160 price point means James is clearly still very marketable.” Powell added that the "feel and the design of the LeBron shoe also have to do with its positive sales number.” He said that James also “leads the league in jersey sales and is one of the reasons why the Heat lead the league in team sales market share at 23 percent of the total marketplace” (CNBC.com, 12/10).

FASHIONABLE FOOTWEAR: In N.Y. , Fred Bierman reported Wizards G Gilbert Arenas “has been wearing a different pair of shoes every game, from Under Armours to throwback Jordans and other Nikes.” Arenas “decided to wear a pair of Dolce & Gabbana high tops” valued at $395 last Tuesday during the Wizards-Lakers game. Arenas’ “sneaker free agency is because Adidas dropped him as a spokesman after his guilty plea for carrying a pistol without a license” (N.Y. TIMES, 12/12). Meanwhile, DIME MAGAZINE’s Aron Phillips noted Wizard G John Wall during last week's game against the Lakers debuted the “Great Wall” version of the Reebok ZigTech Slash sneaker that features The Great Wall of China. The Chinese words on the shoe translate to “Humble & Hungry,” which “is a saying that Wall lives by” (DIMEMAG.com, 12/8).

BEHIND THE DESIGN: The WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Miguel Bustillo profiled Nike sneaker designer Eric Avar, who is “celebrated in the ‘sneakerhead’ subculture for fashioning shoes that not only boost performance but are also objects of beauty.” Avar: “Good design is a marriage of science and art. Telling a story is also really important.” Avar and his team in '06 “compiled a 20-page guidebook of Kobe-isms to forge the spirit” of Lakers F Kobe Bryant’s sneakers. Bryant “will debut the latest version of the shoe, the $130 snakeskin-styled Zoom Kobe IV,” on Dec. 25 during the Heat-Lakers game (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/11).

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