LeBron James has the best selling sneaker in the NBA. According to data from market research firm NPD Group he sits at #1 with Nike athletes Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant ranked second and third, respectively, for signature shoe sales last year.
King James is a Nike-lifer as he calls himself. He signed a seven-year, $90 million deal with the Swoosh in 2003, a month ahead of being drafted No. 1 overall out of high school by the Cavaliers. The partnership was extended in 2010 at roughly $30 million annually, with a “lifetime” deal signed in 2015 that could be worth more than $1 billion, according to James’ business manager, Maverick Carter.
The Nike LeBron 15 has turned things around for basketball footwear despite the performance basketball market being in decline for the last couple years. A great design is the main reason for the success of the 15s. There are other reasons too. LeBron’s bold political stance with his shoes, great energy releases with Kith (see below) and the LeBron Watch campaign have brought the hype back and awaken the sneakerheads.
Images via @therestockcle.