I’m no shoe expert — heck, I once ran a blog sponsored by PONY and still have some in my closet — but, to borrow a phrase from the art world, I know what I like.
And I don’t like these.
Below are two shots of new shoes. The first is John Wall’s new Reebok Zig Encore. Ben over at Eye on Basketball asked the right question: Does Reebok really like this technology and look, or have they invested so much they refuse to fold and move on?
Didn’t take long — he isn’t even the No. 1 pick. Yet. But Reebok has it’s first John Wall commercial out. Complete with the John Wall dance. Expect a lot more of these as Reebok tries to use Wall to springboard back into the basketball shoe market in a meaningful way.
He did not follow the pied piper that is William Wesley to his preferred agents. He did not follow LeBron James to his marketing agency.
And now he’s not going with Nike for his shoe deal. Or even Adidas.
Wall has agreed to a deal with Reebok, something Wall himself announced on twitter. Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowskihad the details — five year, $25 million deal. Pretty healthy contract in this economy for a guy who has yet to play in the NBA. That said Wall is very marketable, very personable, and he can ball. Reebok may have gotten a real star.
Reebok is owned by Adidas, but as we have detailed before it has fallen off the NBA radar as a brand in and of itself. This could be the beginning of a change – Reebok now has a real up-and-coming star to market itself around.
Reebok has never quite been on par with Nike in terms of sneaker appeal, but they once presented an adversary and a worthy second behind the Swoosh. That status eventually gave way to Adidas, who went absolutely bonkers in signing an incredible amount of NBA talent, including Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Kevin Garnett, Tim Duncan, Josh Smith, Brook Lopez, Devin Harris and more. Reebok’s biggest names were Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson, but with both of those players going the way of the dinosaur, Reebok has needed a new face of the franchise, and struggled to find it.
As a result, Reebok has completely fallen off of the NBA map, though they could be making a comeback in a big way. According to Michael Lee of the Washington Post (via Bullets Forever), Reebok will meet with sure-thing No. 1 pick John Wall to discuss a potential shoe deal, one that would likely mean big bucks for Wall and big ups for Reebok.
I’m sure Wall will also be meeting with reps from Nike and Adidas, and the allure of those too companies could be too much. Still, the fact that Reebok is even in the race is something, and should they lock up Wall with a long-term deal, it could spark something of a Rbk Renaissance.