SBD/May 9, 2011/Marketing and Sponsorship

Third Wheel: Chris Bosh Yet To Cash In Off The Court After Joining Heat

Bosh still waiting to reap endorsement benefits from playing for Heat
Heat F Chris Bosh is “still waiting for entree into sports-marketing royalty," despite being part of the "most celebrated basketball alliance in a generation," according to Adam Beasley of the MIAMI HERALD. Aside from an existing deal with Nike, Bosh, "has yet to star in a major national advertising campaign.” His biggest endorsement deal since joining the Heat last summer "appears to be a Miami auto dealership once represented" by Heat G Dwyane Wade. Bosh: “I haven’t benefited yet. I just concentrate on playing basketball, and that will take care of everything else.” Heat teammate F LeBron James “appears to be retaining his position at the center of the NBA universe, even if backlash against his Cleveland exit hurt his popularity.” James “sits near the top when it comes to leveraging basketball performance into off-court riches.” He said, “I’ve got the No. 1-selling shoe in the market right now, and I’ve got the No. 1 selling-jersey. As far as endorsements and marketing, we’ve all skyrocketed.” Wade, who endorses Hublot watches and last week debuted his first line of Jordan Brand shoes, “entered the Three Kings era a top NBA celebrity, but his star power climbed a notch or two this season.” Wade said of his Fly Wade Air Jordan line, “It’s something I wanted my whole life. Hopefully everyone will stop buying all of LeBron’s shoes and pick up a couple of mine." Brand Affinity Technologies President & CEO Ryan Steelberg said that “unlike James and Wade, Bosh needs a championship to become an A-list player in the endorsement game.” Beasley notes Bosh’s “endorsement footprint hasn’t expanded with his fame,” and “perhaps more telling, Bosh himself isn’t courting the kind of exposure he once generated” while playing for the Raptors. Bosh: “At one point and time in my career, I was caught up in it, but it doesn’t matter now. If it comes, it comes. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t" (MIAMI HERALD, 5/9).
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