SBD/December 20, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

King Of The Hill: LeBron James Retains Spot As NBA's Best Jersey-Seller

Heat F LeBron James retained the top spot on the NBA's jersey-selling list from October to December, while Lakers G Kobe Bryant moved up one spot to No. 2. James has held the top spot five times on the league's list of domestic jersey sales. Bulls G Derrick Rose, Thunder F Kevin Durant and Knicks F Carmelo Anthony rounded out the top 5. Rankings are based on sales from adidas and NBAStore.com (THE DAILY). The AP's Tim Reynolds noted there is a "double-digit percentage growth in jersey sales from last year," and with two new versions of James' No. 6 "either hitting, or about to hit, the marketplace, his numbers might keep growing." The short-sleeved jersey James and the Heat will wear during their Christmas game against the Lakers is "expected to be a big seller, as will the Name Collection jersey" that will sport the "King James" moniker. The Heat will wear the nickname jerseys against the Celtics on Jan. 21 (AP, 12/19).

RANK
PLAYER
RANK
PLAYER
1
Heat F LeBron James
9
Cavaliers G Kyrie Irving
2
Lakers G Kobe Bryant
10
Clippers F Blake Griffin
3
Bulls G Derrick Rose
11
Thunder G Russell Westbrook
4
Thunder F Kevin Durant
12
Rockets G James Harden
5
Knicks F Carmelo Anthony
13
Celtics G Rajon Rondo
6
Warriors G Stephen Curry
14
Pacers F Paul George
7
Heat G Dwyane Wade
15
76ers G Michael Carter-Williams
8
Clippers G Chris Paul
 

TRICK UP THEIR SLEEVE: CSN Bay Area's Kate Longworth said the NBA is "taking ownership of the Christmas and holiday season with special uniforms." She said the league's sleeved jerseys help to "separate themselves from the everyday look." Longworth: "I like the different look. It's the holidays. We dress up to go to grandma's, why not dress up to go to the hardwood?" But CSN Bay Area's Jim Kozimor replied, "You're just trying to sell more jerseys for the NBA. You're probably getting a cut of this action" ("Yahoo Sports Talk Live," CSN Bay Area, 12/18). Meanwhile, CBSSports.com's Zach Harper said NBA players wearing nicknames on the back of their jerseys is “very gimmicky” and “very marketable,” but that is “what pro sports are right now” (“Lead Off,” CBSSN, 12/19). CBS Sports Network's Jim Rome said, “If you can get past the fact that it’s a shameless gimmick to move merch and pull dough from the fans, it’s actually pretty cool.” Rome added, “Memo to the commish: If you’re going to make a cash grab, at least try to be creative and let the fans pick” (“Rome,” CBSSN, 12/19).
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