SBD/July 16, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Sources: Adidas Adds To Impressive Rookie Roster By Signing 76ers' Embiid, Celtics' Smart

Embiid is the fourth first-round draft pick to sign with adidas
76ers C Joel Embiid and Celtics F Marcus Smart "have signed contracts" with adidas, according to sources cited by Rodger Bohn of SLAMONLINE.com. Exact terms were "not disclosed, but it was confirmed that both contracts will be multi-year deals." adidas has "quietly established the best group of rookies" of the '14 NBA Draft class with Cavaliers F Andrew Wiggins and Jazz G Dante Exum also in the fold (SLAMONLINE.com, 7/15). In Toronto, Morgan Campbell noted Wiggins' $2M annual salary with adidas is a "fraction of the figure that rippled through the internet." Companies now "prefer to sign rookies to smaller deals, wait a few years, then lavish larger contracts on the ones who become famous enough to single-handedly drive sales." SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell said, “The brands have said (they) just can’t justify these giant contracts for rookies. It took LeBron James years before he was really able to justify his contract (through sales).” adidas Head of Global Basketball Sports Marketing Chris Grancio in an e-mail wrote that the company "plans to use Wiggins to help sell a line of sneakers slated for a fall release," but added that a Wiggins signature shoe "isn't forthcoming." Grancio wrote, "A signature collection could certainly happen in the future but there are no plans in place at this time. As we get to know Andrew, we’ll begin to further define that strategy together" (TORONTO STAR, 7/15).

SUMMER BREEZE: In Las Vegas, Alan Snel wrote engaging players is "just one way" adidas activates its "official NBA apparel and outfitter sponsorship deal" during the Samsung NBA Summer League. The Royal Crown bar, called, “The Club,” is a "popular attraction" for Thomas & Mack Center guests, but this week, it is "off-limits to NBA fans, as workers erected walls a week ago to enclose a swanky hospitality, meet-and-greet zone for adidas." adidas Global Sports Marketing Dir Jim Gatto said that the company suite is "being used to meet player agents, cut shoe endorsement deals, showcase future products and conduct 3-D symmetrical foot scanning to fit athletes with proper shoe sizes." Summer League VP/Business Operations Albert Hall said that there is a "growing trend of NBA sponsors such as adidas and teams using the summer league to more aggressively work with clients and fans" (LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 7/15).
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