From the days of Michael Jordan to the present, the sneaker trend has spread to many other sports as well. Join us for a look at those in the league, who currently have kicks of their own.
The world of designer shoes and their athletes
Being contacted by a major shoe company that wants to sponsor you is not only clear recognition of a player’s skills, but also of their marketing. On the other hand, being contacted by a major sneaker company that wants to make your own exclusive shoe, that’s a whole different story. Frankly, it’s the next level. At nearly $85 billion per year, the sneaker industry is a market that cannot be ignored, and to be clear, basketball makes up a major part of it.
In truth, it could be said that basketball has been both a pioneer and a driver of the industry. While there are now exclusive footwear in other sports such as football, tennis, soccer, and even golf, the fact remains that basketball was and still is the main driving force behind the lucrative industry. When Michael Jordan signed for a company primarily known for long-distance running shoes in 1984, the goal was to sell $3 million in the first four years of the deal. the company was Nike and they sold $126 million in the first year alone. Think about it. With that being said, we are taking a look at the players who are the current stars of the market and which companies they signed with. Let’s get into it!
From those early days in the ’80s, to the huge company it has become, Nike is by far the most dominant force in the world of sneakers and, to be honest, sports in general. Currently, the Portland-based organization has five players who have their own sneakers and they are all very worthwhile. Right off the bat, we have three former MVPs in Lebron James, Giannis Antetokounmpo Y Kevin Durant. So there is also paul george Y Kyrie Irving, both players who don’t need personal awards to be confirmed in the minds of fans as some of the best players in the league.
It was actually Adidas, in the past, that ruled the roost when it came to NBA athletes. Precisely, it was Michael Jordan’s parents who encouraged him to accept Nike’s offer, over the well-known German brand. While they may play second fiddle to Nike when it comes to market share, make no mistake, they have a sizable chunk and boast some top athletes as well. Derrick Rose he is their longest-serving athlete, having signed a 14-year contract in 2011 following an MVP season. There are, however, other headliners like James Harden, Damian Lillard and the mercurial Trae Young.
the jordan brand
Although it is a subsidiary of Nike, the Jordan brand has really become a completely different ballgame. Today, the company’s flagship brand boasts some of the best talent in the league. Of luka doncic, who recently unveiled the latest edition of his line, to the Suns point guard ChrisPaul, the Jordan brand definitely has some of the best in the league under its banner. There’s also Russell Westbrook and Duke’s own prodigy, Zion Williamson.
A relatively new player to the game, the hit the brand was able to pull off must be respected. Not only do they have one of the best players in the league in Joel Embiid, but they also have a former MVP and probably the best shooter we’ve ever seen, Steph Curry. In fact, the Warriors talisman recently released its ninth edition, the “Curry 9”, while the “Embiid 2” dropped this year.
Also, something new to the game, the brand turned heads when they signed players like Zach LaVine, jamal murray Y Jaylene Brown. That said, they only have one athlete with his own sneaker and that’s Kawhi Leonard. Interestingly, Leonard left the Jordan Brand in 2018 and is now the face of New Balance basketball. To date, he has two editions of his shoes on the market.
Having been primarily linked to soccer, Puma has become increasingly interested in the basketball market in recent seasons. For this, the brand has signed several players from the league, however, it seems that they have decided on LaMelo Ball as their star player. The former All-Star reportedly signed a $100 million deal with the company and is due to release the second edition of his sneaker line next season, the “MB.02.”