For Nike, maybe basketball never does stop.
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.