The war among shoe companies for NBA players “isn’t much of a war anymore,” according to Jason Lloyd of the AKRON BEACON JOURNAL. SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell said that Nike “controls 97 percent of the market” with endorsers including NBA HOFer Michael Jordan, Heat F LeBron James, Heat G Dwyane Wade and Thunder F Kevin Durant. Powell said, “I don’t want to declare the war over. But a non-Nike brand has a long way to go just to be competitive.” Lloyd reported that is “part of the reason adidas is rumored to be offering its top client, Chicago Bulls guard Derrick Rose, a staggering 10-year, $250 million shoe contract that has analysts shaking their head in disbelief.” Powell: “They’re talking about a silly amount of money. If they did that, it would strictly be a defensive move to prevent him from going to Nike. In terms of economics of having to pay a player that much money, I don’t think it’s a good move. I don’t see how they’d make that money back.” When it came time for Cavaliers G Kyrie Irving to sign a shoe contract as an NBA rookie, he “chose Nike over Under Armour and Adidas because of how it handled" the toe injury that limited Irving to 11 games during his one year in college at Duke. Irving said, “They have the best technology and the best doctors here and the best research that any shoe company has. It was a battle, but at the end of the day, Nike had the best medical stuff to offer for my feet.” Powell said of shoe contracts with rookies, “They don’t matter. If you look at No. 1 picks and their impact on footwear, LeBron was the last good one and there hasn’t been a great one for a long time. A lot of athletes are signing today for a very small amount of money and free shoes” (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 1/8).
FEELING A CHANGE: Clippers G Chris Paul noted playing in L.A. after spending the first five years of his career with the Hornets has "definitely been a huge change” in terms of marketing opportunities, including his new signature Jordan Brand shoe. Paul said, “The shoe is special to me because everyone knows that I’m very, very family oriented.” The shoe features Paul’s wedding date, his son’s birthday and “61 little cutouts on my shoe ... that symbolizes my grandfather, because that was my best friend” (“Sports Biz: Game On!,” NBC Sports Network, 1/6).