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SBD Global/October 3, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

Dwyane Wade Leaving Jordan Brand To Endorse Li-Ning Shoes And Apparel

NBA Miami Heat's Dwyane Wade has "officially departed Jordan Brand for Beijing-based footwear and apparel company Li-Ning," according to a source cited by Jared Zwerling of ESPN.com. Wade "had been with Jordan Brand” since ’10, and his contract expired on Oct. 1. Rumors “started heating up that Wade would be leaving Jordan Brand last month when he wasn't scheduled to debut a new sneaker" for the ‘12-13 season. 76ers G Evan Turner, who endorses Li-Ning, tweeted yesterday, "I'd like to welcome the homie D Wade to the Li-Ning family!!!" The tweet has "since been removed." Zwerling noted Wade is "now Li-Ning's biggest headliner." The company’s current endorsers in addition to Turner include Raptors G Jose Calderon and former NBAer Shaquille O'Neal, "whose shoes are only sold in China." Li-Ning has "struggled mightily in the U.S. to make an impact after launching the first Baron Davis sneaker, the BD Doom." Company execs "obviously hope to change that with Wade" (ESPN.com, 10/1).
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