SBD/January 7, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Nash Reportedly Leaves Nike After 15 Years For China-Based Luyou

Nash's deal with Luyou continues trend of deals between NBA players, Chinese brands
Suns G Steve Nash has “left Nike and signed with Chinese brand Luyou,” according to COUNTERKICKS.com. Terms of Nash's agreement with Luyou have not been disclosed, but Nike in a statement said, “We can confirm Steve Nash is no longer under contract with us.” The Nike-Nash partnership "ends after 15 years." Nash’s decision to endorse a Chinese footwear brand “follows in the footsteps of recent headline deals,” including Celtics F Kevin Garnett leaving adidas for Anta and Clippers G Baron Davis and Grizzlies C Hasheem Thabeet signing with Li-Ning. Nash is repped by BDA Sports, which has "pioneered Chinese endorsement deals for NBA athletes with its clients,” including Rockets C Yao Ming (COUNTERKICKS.com, 1/6). CBSSPORTS.com’ Matt Moore noted Chinese shoe companies have “progressively signed more and more players to endorsement deals.” Peak “recently nabbed” Mavericks G Jason Kidd and Lakers F Ron Artest.” Nash has “made a significant push the past few years in expanding his global presence," and his move to Luyou “echoes the mass integration of NBA players in the Chinese market.” The NBA is “becoming more global as an entity, and the players are moving to be a part of that globalization” (CBSSPORTS.com, 1/6).
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