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SBD/October 10, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship
Li-Ning Officially Announces Deal With Dwyane Wade For Shoe, Apparel Line
Published October 10, 2012
TRADING COOL FOR GLOBAL: Wade said that he “weighed the pluses and minuses when considering whether to leave Jordan.” Wade: "In the end, the pros outweighed the cons. Jordan might have that cool factor, but I'm at a different point in my career. I want to be involved in building something." ESPN.com's Darren Rovell noted the exact financials are not known, but “it's a multimillion dollar deal and will last until Wade retires and into his early retirement.” CAA Sports’ Henry Thomas, who reps Wade, said his client will also get "significant" equity in the company. When it came time for Li-Ning Brand Initiative Dir Brian Cupps “to pitch to Wade, he explained to him the China paradox.” Cupps said he told Wade, "In order to be global, you have to win China. And in order to win China, you have to be global.” Cupps said that Wade's first shoe “will appeal to the growing Chinese middle class, as the shoe will sell for about $130” (ESPN.com, 10/9). In Portland, Alan Brettman notes the move to Li-Ning “is curious as Wade was a centerpiece of the Jordan Brand, portrayed in company-sponsored videos as a Batman/James Bond-like superhero.” He leaves the “comfort of Nike, the world's largest sporting goods company, for Li Ning, which for the past year has posted disappointing earnings.” A basketball shoe “designed in Portland for another Li Ning NBA player, Baron Davis, barely saw shelf space in the United States.” The shoe was “pulled from the shelves of Champs, a Foot Locker subsidiary and former Li Ning partner, shortly after the start of the 2010-11 NBA season” (Portland OREGONIAN, 10/10).