Will LeBron Resign With Nike? He’s a 2010 Free Agent (Shoe Deal) »

Aug 13, 2009 at 1:10 am | lebron-jameslifestyle

KURT HELIN of nbcsandiego.com published a very interesting article regarding LeBron’s 2010 free agency. However, we are not talking a possible trade to the New York Knicks, but his shoes contract with Nike, which was signed for 7 years back in 2003. Time is ticking, but can you really imagine LeBron James with any other brand? I can’t.

Where is LeBron James going to land next summer? We’re not talking about him going to the Knicks. (That’s not going to happen anyway, with the shrinking salary cap the Knicks can’t afford LeBron and enough talent to make him happy.) We’re talking about LeBron’s shoe deal – that contract is up after next season, too. He’s a free agent in that arena as well. While he may be the face of Nike’s basketball marketing right now – commercials with a LeBron puppet and him throwing chalk into the air seemed to run on a loop during the NBA playoffs – he isn’t worth the $13 million a year he is getting now in terms of selling shoes. Nike may want him to take a pay cut. Which could open the door for Adidas. Nike signed LeBron right out of high school to an insanely rich deal, betting on the come that he would live up to the incredible hype and become an iconic basketball player. And on the court he’s done it – he’s arguably the best player walking the planet and is only getting better, he has carried a team of questionalbe talent to the way to the NBA Finals a couple years back (but has yet to win a ring).
However, off the court, Nike is paying LeBron Michael Jordan money – and he’s no Jordan. Despite the release of the new Air Zoom LeBron VII last month, Jordan still dominates LeBron -92.8 percent of the high-end basketball shoe sales are the Jordan line. Dwyane Wade may be moving to the Jordan line once his Converse deal expires, which likely would expand that market share. Jordan is still the King, and Nike is paying LeBron big money for a small share of the market. Nike and LeBron are talking contract extension right now, and you can be sure they are not keeping the $13 million a year flat rate offer on the table. LeBron is going to make less unless his shoes start selling. But for Adidas, stealing LeBron might be worth that kind of money. The buzz it would create would reverberate well outside basketball – and unlike Adidas’s current biggest name (Kevin Garnett) LeBron isn’t likely to flub the company advertising slogan on national television. LeBron knows how to market almost as well as he knows how to drive the lane. It still seems a long shot – few athletes and brands are as intertwined as Nike and LeBron. A deal based on LeBron getting a percentage of sales might make more sense. Still, anytime the biggest name in the sport is a free agent, you have to think someone else is at least going to take their best shot to steal the prize. For an underdog, the gamble might well be worth it. Bottom line, impossible is nothing.
Will LeBron Resign With Nike He8217s a 2010 Free Agent Shoe Deal
  • bk stand up

    he gon sign with jayz and rocawear

  • jeromeee23

    LeBron… please stay with Nike.:) i love your shoe line with nike. besides adidas may look good but it doesn’t last longer than a nike shoe plus, nike is innovative. please stay with nike.

  • 23shoefinder

    LeBron would be retarded to leave Nike. Never gonna happen.

  • akrowdy

    i wouldnt mind seeing lebron at Under Armour…..eh?

    Lebron may be a better player then MJ at one point, but he will never be MJ. Jordan will be the face of Nike affiliated basketball for a long time. UA is just launching their basketball program, why not have it built on Lebron? Lebron would be the foundation to the program…..not brandon jennings. UA would have freedom to give him something new rather then the nike approach – just a good looking team shoe with a lbj logo on it – the VII

    Adidas has their create/command campaign going….not sure if they would totally restructure their line for one player, and Lebron would want his own shoe ….then KG, Dwight, Arenas, Billups would want their own shoes

    probably never going to happen, but a thought UA 2010

  • zach13g

    he’s staying with NIKE, word to Rockdeep’s twitter!

    Lebron said himself the VIII is already in production.

    -Zach

  • akrowdy

    one more side note….

    just because they said the VIII was in the starts means nothing really. Shoes are designed about 18 months out, so Nike would really have no choice but to start design…..the design is actually probably almost finished actually.

  • mOe23

    TS Lightning creator James . . . err??? James would be stupid if he leaves Nike. After those phenomenal shoes like Lebron 6 apples and Lebron 6 MVP goodness!! Plus nike is innovative, very creative and loves personalizing.

  • dave

    wow i love these shoes :grin: :grin:

  • 23shoefinder

    From a sneakerhead standpoint, I would stop buying LeBron shoes because I don’t wear anything except Nike and Jordan. It doesn’t mean I’d stop being a fan of LeBron, it just means that I wouldn’t be dropping $1000+ a year on his shoes…UA, Reebok or Adidas doesn’t have the marketing, style or following to release the amount of colorways and special editions that Nike does.
    You really think LeBron is going to give up the one thing he has over Kobe (at the moment), a better and more successful shoe line?

  • king

    The prices of the shoes are just a little too high for some peoples pockets.

  • Black Mamba

    Kobe’s shoe line is actually better and more successful than Lebrons. Just the Facts!

  • [quote comment=”35511″]Kobe’s shoe line is actually better and more successful than Lebrons. Just the Facts![/quote]

    Please show me those facts. Please! I would like to see actual numbers how Kobes outsell LeBrons.

  • owen

    he’ll definitely stay with nike. and adidas and reebok and any other shoe brand wont probably afford lebron anyway.

  • phoenixphire

    Yeah im with you on that one..I highly DOUBT that Kobe is outselling Lebron in any shoe category….now NBA jerseys sure….but kicks…i highly doubt…especially not when the Kobe V looks ridiculously similar to the Kobe 4…i mean its innovative and all, but aesthetically its the SAME damn shoe! lol Kobe, go kill yourself for letting them do that do you! LBJ all day!

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