Who knows when we are going to get to see Kemba Walker step out on the court in a Charlotte Bobcats uniform. But when he does, he’ll be wearing Under Armour shoes.
Walker signed with the shoe manufacturer that is trying to gain a foothold in the Nike dominated basketball shoe market, according to Daren Rovell at CNBC. Walker is the first guy out of this draft class to get a shoe deal.
Under Armour needs some stars on its roster of clients, so hooking up with Walker makes some sense. He was a big star in college leading the UConn Huskies to the national title then being the No. 9 pick overall. The biggest name Under Armour has now is Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings. Currently Under Armour accounts for 0.2 percent of the hoops shoe market. Nike dominates that market with 91.5 percent of sales, and 93 percent in the first quarter of 2011. The Jordan Brand accounts for more than 60 percent of sales to this day.
Which is fun, because Walker plays for Jordan, the owner of the Bobcats. He could see some pressure to switch down the line.
In an added note, there are rumors that Amar’e Stoudemire might leave Nike if he doesn’t get his own signature line of shoes. That sounds a lot like someone near a star leaking a threat or warning to get a desired outcome, but know that is out there.