Adidas has a foothold in the NBA marketing game. Saturday there were people lined up around the block in Chicago to see Derrick Rose and buy his new adiZero Rose2 shoes. They also make the official NBA jerseys.
Which you are not buying right now because of the lockout.
The German group makes some $100 million in sales from licensed NBA products, with basketball products as a whole, including footwear, among its top five sporting categories.
Matt Powell, analyst at SportsOneSource, told Reuters licensed apparel sales could halve, similar to the last lockout in the 1998/99 season, if the season were canceled.
“Overall, sales of NBA licensed products fell by 20 percent last week, and I view that as the beginning of the fall because of the lockout,” he said.
Adidas is going to take a hit period this year because even if David Stern and Billy Hunter come out of the negotiating room on Tuesday singing Kumbayah, it will take some time for fans to warm up to the NBA again. Enough time that adidas would feel the hit of fan backlash through the holiday shopping season.
There are a lot of people and organizations to feel more sorry for than adidas, but you can add them to the list.