Will Nike attend the free agent summit?
There are all kinds of people in that conversation. LeBron James has said he is the ringleader. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh, Joe Johnson … it’s a who’s who of this year’s free agent class. In terms of having a lot at stake, those players are at the top of the list with the owners, staffs and fans of the various teams.
But there is another interested party no one has mentioned: Nike, and its affiliated Jordan brand.
That is a giant corporation with a lot of branding tied up in basketball, and specifically the footwear of the best basketball players in the world, including James, Bosh, Wade and Johnson as well as Amare Stoudemire, Dirk Nowitzki and dozens more who could change teams this year. Where they all end up will not just determine the fortunes of various NBA teams, but also the abilities of those players to inspire fans to buy shoes.
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: While furthering The Swoosh may not be priority one, it will be a major priority.
Players like Chris Bosh, LeBron James, and Dwyane Wade view themselves as brands and value their lucrative relationships with Nike.
These players have people whose job is to figure out the impact playing for a certain team will have on sponsors. For instance, fact or fiction, much has been speculated about Nike wanting James in the world’s largest media market, New York City.
Clearly, The Great Free Agent Chase of 2010 is about the business of basketball, and not so much the game of basketball.
Got thoughts on Nike’s role in the free agent summit?