Trae Young Becoming Desirable NBA Draft Prospect For Shoe Brands
NBA Draft prospect Trae Young and his team of advisors will "listen to sneaker endorsement pitches from companies beginning next week" in L.A., as Nike, Adidas, Under Armour and Puma are "all expected to present, with Young already having developed a level of familiarity with each brand," according to Nick DePaula of ESPN.com. Young "hosted an Under Armour exec for a private workout last month before grabbing dinner with his family and the exec later that evening." The next day, Young "worked out in front of Adidas reps." Nike's sports marketing group "checked out a workout as well." The sessions "not only served as an opportunity to get familiar with potential partners but also allowed him to test each company's latest sneakers." Puma "plans to present Young with a prototype of its upcoming fall basketball sneaker this week in advance of its official pitch." Then the Puma team "will showcase its marketing plans, future product concepts, growth strategy and an overview of how the brand plans to re-engage in basketball." Puma has "largely been removed from the NBA in this millennium." Octagon's Omar Wilkes, one of the agents representing Young, noted this is Puma's "first real foray back into basketball" since '98 with Vince Carter. Sources said that Puma "would look to supplement the signing of Young with a batch of established NBA players headed toward sneaker free agency later this fall." But at Under Armour, Young "would have the chance to join a brand that features his longtime idol Stephen Curry" (ESPN.com, 5/15).