One – does it make sense for Adidas to spend monopoly type money on one NBA star to build its basketball shoe brand?
Two – how much more will it cost to buy a pair of sneakers with the German sports apparel’s logo on it?
In a market dominated by Nike with 90% share, Adidas offered a 13 year, $200 million deal to James Harden to become the face, er beard, of its basketball shoe brand according to ESPN business reporter Darren Rovell.
With only 5% share of a $3.7 billion per annum worldwide basketball sneaker business, Adidas expects to increase its hoops footwear sales with the Harden endorsement deal.
I’d like to see a company spreadsheet on how many more unit sales the sneaker maker thinks will be derived as a direct result of promoting a guy who has never won an NBA MVP trophy or championship ring and is unquestionably not a household name.
Yes, Harden is arguably one of the top 10 players in the NBA, but offering him $15.5 million per year until he turns 38 years-old seems foolish to me.
Plus, it’s just not prudent to invest this kind of jack on one player after plunking down more than $300 million in collective deals with Derrick Rose in 2010, Dwight Howard in 2012, John Wall in 2013 and Damian Lillard in 2014 and not witnessing any appreciable market share growth.
I’m a huge hoops fan, but I won’t be motivated to take out my credit card anytime soon to buy a pair of James Harden signature shoes.
Curious how many other potential buyers will lack the same impetus and wait until the soon-to-be overpriced Hardens can be snagged for 50% less at an outlet sometime in the future?
The elephant in the room question needs to be asked of Adidas.
Instead of wildly overpaying a new product endorser, why not just design and manufacture better basketball shoes at lower prices to gain customer loyalty and increased sales to capture more market share?
Now, that’s a novel concept, duh, and that’s my 2 cents.
MIKE on sports!