SBD/May 23, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

LeBron James' Signature Nike Sneakers Lead All NBA Players In U.S. Retail Sales

Nike sold 50% more LeBron X shoes last year than in '11
Heat F LeBron James is "crushing the competition in stores, outselling his nearest rival’s signature sneakers 6-to-1," according to data from SportsOneSource cited by Kurt Badenhausen of FORBES.com. Nike generated $300M "in U.S. retail sales in 2012 for James’ signature shoe, LeBron X," up 50% "from sales of James’ kicks in 2011." SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell said, "The media attention on him helps him sell more footwear." The LeBron X "caused a stir last summer" when it was reported that the shoes would be priced at more than $300. The "second best-selling active NBA pitchman" is Lakers G Kobe Bryant. His Kobe 8 signature shoes earned $50M in sales "at U.S. stores last year." Knicks F and Jordan Brand endorser Carmelo Anthony "ranks third" with U.S. retail sales of $40M for his Jordan Melo M9. Data also showed that the Nike-owned Jordan Brand has "been on fire" with $2B in U.S. sales in '12. Despite missing the entire '12-13 season, Bulls G Derrick Rose’s signature adidas shoe has "gained traction" with sales of $25M in '12. But Rose "still lags the top guys at Nike." adidas’ other "top endorsers have really struggled." Wizards G John Wall signed with adidas in '10 and retail sales for his signature shoe "were only" $5M in '12. Lakers C Dwight Howard "continues a longtime trend of NBA big men struggling to sell shoes." adidas "moved only" $5M worth of Howard product last year (FORBES.com, 5/22).

TEXAS TWO-STEP: FOXSPORTSSOUTHWEST.com's Shawn Ramsey noted Texans DE J.J. Watt tweeted that he is "getting his own brand of shoes courtesy of Nike, dubbed the 'MegaWatt.'" The release date and price for the shoes "are not yet known" (FOXSPORTSSOUTHWEST.com, 5/22).
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