There has been no NBA for Nike to promote its basketball shoes (which account for 95 percent of the basketball shoe market, thank you Michael Jordan). The marketing has continued, but the biggest stage for Nike remains dark.
In October, sales were higher than the same month last year, said Matt Powell, an analyst for the SportsOneSource Group, who predicted several weeks ago that the lockout would have little to no effect on shoe sales.
“Television is much less important to selling sneakers today than it was in 1999,” during the last extended NBA work stoppage, Powell said. “Sneaker sales are much more influenced by the web today. Brands get more exposure for products on YouTube than they do on (ESPN) SportsCenter.”
On the other hand, sales of NBA-licensed merchandise — jerseys, T-shirts, hats, trinkets and the rest — are expected to drop by at least a half, analysts say.
Adidas also told the paper it saw growth in basketball shoe sales.
But Adidas is the official maker of NBA jerseys, they are going to feel the hit in merchandise the longer the lockout drags on. Which could be a long, long time.
NBA coaches association head pleads for end of lockout
While the NBA lockout starts to reach the “fans are really getting ticked” portion of the program, we have another plea for sanity. It’s likely to fall on deaf ears, but we bring it to you anyway.
Michael H. Goldberg, Executive Director NBA Coaches Association, wrote an open letter to both sides asking for the two sides to resume talks and figure this thing out.
It was published by Sports Illustrated and includes a Joni Mitchell quote (“Don’t it always seem to go, that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone…”) so you know he is serious. Here are the highlights.
I’m urging this call for an immediate return to discussions by the parties solely as a veteran of the business of the sport and not as a representative or spokesman of the NBA Coaches or any other constituency. As someone who has “seen it all” in the NBA (and other professional sports), I urge the principals involved in the current labor dispute to immediately back away from the precipice, get back to the bargaining table, and redouble their efforts to resolve the current conflict and get a deal done without delay.
The upcoming NBA season must be saved. To do otherwise will cause a self-inflicted economic blow to an enterprise that over the years through the hard work of players, team owners and the League Office has become a great global brand, but, like every business operating in today’s fragile economic landscape, one that is more susceptible to “decline and fall….”
We all need to concede that the NBA does not operate in a financial bulletproof bubble. After months of discussion, it has become apparent that a solution to the current situation means sacrifice and change. The parties have moved in that direction. Now is not the time to step back and harden positions. Litigation and the “courts” are not the answer – “been there and done that.” Let the parties have the courage to make a deal, even if it requires taking some risks and accepting the unpalatable for the short term, so as to ensure that going forward there will be a viable and robust NBA business, one that is able to withstand the current financial environment and further prosper.
That sounds fair and about right. So, good luck getting anyone to listen to it.
Video: Ricky Rubio, other highlights from Gooden charity game
Drew Gooden put on a charity fundraiser for the Make-a-Wish Foundation over the weekend in the Bay Area, but he wasn’t the star.
This was the American debut of Ricky Rubio, the Spanish sensation who will be playing for the Timberwolves. Eventually. But he’s a highlight factory and in a wide-open game without defense he is going to put on a show. And he did. As did some other stars.
And the charity games just keep on coming… and in this case getting bigger.
LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony will headline a four-city homecoming tour with money raised from the games going to charity, reports the Associated Press. Other players will slide in and out of the tour, but those four will be at each stop. Chris Bosh also is expected to play in all the contests.
Games are scheduled for Dec. 1 in Akron, Ohio, Dec. 4 in New Orleans, Dec. 7 in Chicago and Dec. 10 contest in East Rutherford, N.J. All of the games will be streamed live by tour sponsor Google+. In each of the cities there will be food drives and basketball clinics for youth.
“It’ll be very neat,” Wade told The Associated Press. “First of all, this is something we talked about doing a long time ago as players. To have an opportunity to go to these different cities that we’re from, to bring basketball to them at a high level and also have a charitable component in each city and to be with the guys, it’ll be cool. It’s something we’re looking forward to.”
“We’re approaching it as basketball,” Wade said. “We’re not doing it so people don’t forget our names. We’re really doing this to continue to make an impact in the communities that we go to and also to show that we love this game, we’re going to continue to play it and that this is something we all decided to do together. So that’s what makes this special.”
So after Carmelo Anthony hijacked the Nuggets’ season last year and held them hostage until they traded him, and not just anywhere, but specifically to the team he desired, the New York Knicks, the owners… well, they got a little miffed. You’ve been insulted twice by the power of players over the people who pay their contracts, you tend to get a little irritated. So as part of the latest proposal that was chopped down by the players upon which they summarily disbanded their union and filed suit against the league, the owners had proposed a ban on “extend-and-trade” deals. Melo wants to go get his money in New York in free agency? Fine. But you can no longer extend a player using the advantages inherent in such deals and then move him, giving him the best of both worlds. Cake and eat it, etc.
They call it “the Melo Rule.”
And as Alan Hahn of Newsday reports, Melo thinks that’s pretty funny. And he decided to troll them a little bit.
“I’m just glad I can be part of something,” Anthony said last month. “When I’m dead and gone, the Melo Rule will still be here. I’m just excited that they named a rule after me.”
“Make your petty rules against me, mortals! I shall live on forever and haunt your children’s children’s children with my constant threat of playing where I want to on the contract owed to me by the team that was forced to trade me after a six-month nightmare that brought such dread horrors as ‘Lionel Bienvenue!’ The day is mine!”