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Volume 24 No. 114

Marketing and Sponsorship

Markelle Fultz, the projected No. 1 pick in Thursday's NBA Draft, has "agreed to a multiyear show deal with Nike," according to Nick DePaula of THE VERTICAL. Fultz said, "Growing up, I always wore Nike shoes. I always wanted the newest Jordans and the newest Nikes." DePaula noted there was "aggressive interest from adidas and Under Armour." Sources said that offers from each brand "topped" $1.5M annually with "additional incentives for earning NBA Rookie of the Year honors." Some brands also "offered a $500,000 signing bonus." However, Fultz was "focused on Nike from the start" due to his "familiarity with the brand's sneakers on the court and his love for wearing a variety of Nikes and Jordans casually off the court." His deal with Nike "doesn't include a signature shoe just yet, as the brand will look for Fultz to lead its newest statement-level team sneakers and establish himself in the league" (, 6/16). In Seattle, Percy Allen noted Nike has deals with the last two No. 1 overall picks -- 76ers F Ben Simmons and T'Wolves C Karl-Anthony Towns (SEATTLE TIMES, 6/17). USA TODAY's A.J. Neuharth-Kensch noted Fultz shortly after announcing his deal with Nike on Twitter "retweeted a tweet that said he should have signed with Big Baller Brand" (, 6/16).

STILL DEMAND FOR NIKES? CNBC's Scott Wapner noted Nike shares on Friday were downgraded by JPMorgan analyst Matthew Boss, causing the stock to be the “second-worst performer on the Dow” for the day. Boss said, "We’re seeing a move more from performance to lifestyle. ... This North American marketplace is just really in a consolidation mode and from a brick-and-mortar standpoint, we think Nike may be the one that faces the most disruption." Boss: "Nike could out-innovate. Nike could out-muscle its competition. I think that’s going to be harder for them to do in the next couple of years.” CNBC contributor Josh Brown: “I actually wholly disagree with the premise that it's more important to be concerned with the distribution of the products versus the demand. The demand for the products is incredible, that's not changed and ... no one should be surprised they have strong quarters and weak quarters. Bigger picture from Nike's perspective, they've invested a lot in e-commerce, they invested a lot in marketing online. They were doing that before a lot of other brands. They'll figure out how to get the product to customers" ("Fast Money Halftime Report," CNBC, 6/16).

Former NBAer Rashad McCants will "now become the first pro-athlete not related to LaVar Ball to wear Big Baller Brand's signature sneakers in a professional game" when the Ice Cube-backed BIG3 basketball league debuts on June 25, according to Marissa Payne of the WASHINGTON POST. McCants, referring to the $495 shoes released last month, said, "I'm gonna be wearing those ZO2's when the BIG3 kicks off." McCants said he admired Ball's "entrepreneurship," because he is "challenging the status quo." McCants: "He's opening up a whole new lane to everyone to realize that you can do your own thing. You don't have to go sign with Nike; you don't have to go sign with Under Armour; you can use your own shoe and wear your own shoe, and I was a big proponent of that." He added, "I'm gonna be supporting (Big Baller Brand) full-strength" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/16).

UCF K Donald De La Haye in a video posted yesterday announced he will "keep taking advertising revenue for his YouTube videos and let the NCAA decide his fate," according to Iliana Limon Romero of the ORLANDO SENTINEL. A UCF compliance office rep "alerted De La Haye about a week ago he was risking his NCAA amateur status by receiving money for advertising linked to his popular YouTube channel." De La Haye in his new video said, "I'm not stopping for anybody." He added, "I'm going to upload regularly to this channel. I'm not stopping that. I'm not demonetizing. I refuse to. So it's out of my hands now. The decision is in the NCAA's hands." A source said that De La Haye was "never given an ultimatum by UCF officials as implied during his first video about his meeting with the compliance official." But NCAA rules "suggest De La Haye may have to choose between his generating of revenue off his videos and playing college football" (ORLANDO SENTINEL, 6/19). De La Haye's videos "show his daily life, including what it is like to be a student-athlete." Because he hit 10,000 lifetime views, he was "able to make money off ads placed on his videos." De La Haye said that he created the YouTube channel to "further his career and make a little extra money -- money the Costa Rica native said his family needs" (, 6/19).