PDA

View Full Version : Nike pulling the plug on Kobe shoes; Nutella scraps him


Evilmav2
10-09-2003, 05:46 PM
The folks at Niketalk are saying that Nike is going to launch the Huarache 2k4 Kobe shoe as a college team shoe instead... That's too bad. It might have been amusing to see Kobe fans wear these ugly things...

Release of signature Kobe shoe on indefinite hold
http://disc.cba.uh.edu/~sttso/images/kobe01.jpg
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
By Darren Rovell
ESPN.com


Just hold it.

Nike officials contend that their relationship with Kobe Bryant remains status quo, but several shoe retailers say they have been unable to place orders for Nike's new line of Bryant shoes. The Los Angeles Lakers guard's signature sneaker is scheduled to be launched Feb. 7, a week before the NBA All-Star Game is to be played in Los Angeles, but retailers typically must place their orders at least six months in advance.

Each retailer contacted by ESPN.com, though, refused to comment on the reasons why orders for the new shoe line has not been made available to them. Retailers often pledge confidentiality on launch details of specific shoes.

"Some people might criticize the company for apparently not sticking by their man," said sports economist Patrick Rishe, a professor at Webster University in St. Louis. "But if he is somehow found guilty, Nike would not only look foolish for going ahead with things, but they would probably be wasting a lot of money."

Bryant signed a five-year deal worth at least $40 million with Nike, the world's largest grossing athletic shoe maker, in late June, just days before Bryant was arrested and charged with allegedly sexually assaulting a 19-year-old hotel employee in Eagle, Colo. In recent weeks, companies that have signed Bryant to endorsement contracts have, for the most part, stuck by their pitchman. Officials with Nike, McDonald's, Coca-Cola, Upper Deck and Spalding all have said that Bryant remains under contract with their company.

Bryant became a free agent in the shoe endorsement market last year after he terminated his deal with adidas. Bryant, whose two signature shoes with adidas didn't sell particularly well, said he was "looking forward to the challenge" of selling shoes after marketing experts doubted his appeal with young shoe buyers.

But it appears that the 25-year-old will have to wait until details surrounding his case are resolved.

The Lakers guard appeared in court Thursday for a preliminary hearing, where details of the events that transpired on June 30 at the Lodge and Spa at Cordillera were shared. The fact that Kobe's defense team did not waive the hearing and more details about what happened could make its way into the media, could help speed up the decision-making process for companies that have Bryant under contract.

"Companies have pulled back already," said Steve Rosner, partner of 16W Marketing, a sports marketing firm. "The longer this goes on, the more it is in the paper and the more graphic it is the more closely companies will be looking at their morals clauses in the contract to make their final decision on his status with them as an endorser."

Since Bryant was accused of sexual assault, Nutella, a chocolate and hazelnut spread maker, said it would not renew Bryant's deal -- reportedly worth about $500,000 -- that expires in January. McDonald's spokesman Bill Whitman declined to talk about future advertising plans surrounding Bryant. Irwin Kruger, a 35-year McDonald's franchisee, said he doesn't expect restaurant operators to put pressure on the fast food company to make a quick decision about Bryant.

"I think most of us trust that the decision McDonald's makes will be the right one," said Kruger, who owns seven stores in Manhattan, including the largest McDonald's in the nation located in Times Square.

Coca-Cola spokesman Scott Williamson said Bryant remains under contract through 2005.

Cleveland Cavaliers rookie LeBron James is scheduled to film a commercial for Coke's Sprite brand in the coming weeks, but Williamson said that fact does not mean Bryant, who has endorsed Sprite in the past, is being phased out of the company's marketing plans. In August, James signed six-year deal to endorse Sprite and Powerade.

It looks like James will overshadow Bryant on the Nike stage. James signed a seven-year, $90 million contract in May and his signature shoe is scheduled to launch Dec. 20.

More people apparently know who Bryant is, thanks to the media frenzy surrounding his legal situation.

Prior to the incident, an estimated 60 percent of the general population said they knew who Bryant was, according to Marketing Evaluations, a market research firm for the entertainment and advertising industries. After the incident, 70 percent of the general population now knows who he is.

But companies that are aligned with him have to be concerned about how the population now perceives him, even though he has not been convicted of the crime.

According to polling, 12 percent of people asked said Bryant was one of their favorite athletes before the incident. Two percent of the population said they were no longer big fans of Bryant after the incident. The people who said they thought of him in a negative light increased from 15 to 24 percent.

"The fact that his positive score remained pretty stable, means that thus far he has absorbed all the news pretty well," said Henry Schaffer, executive vice president of the company.

If Bryant's image as the squeaky clean spokesman that appealed to Madison Avenue types has been put in question, the recent news that Bryant filled one of his arms with tattoos could make more marketers cringe. Bryant recently showed off new tattoos of a crown, halo, angel wings and a butterfly, which he says signifies the importance of his wife Vanessa in his life.

"This doesn't really help with the perception that he was known as a guy with a clean-cut image before all of this," Rishe said. "It's not going to help him with a jury and it probably isn't good for any company that has him under contract, so I think his handlers weren't advising him well on this situation."

Darren Rovell, who covers sports business for ESPN.com, can be reached at darren.rovell@espn3.com

LRB
10-09-2003, 06:17 PM
mayber Nike could use Kobe to market an shoe especially made for pedophiles.

dallas_esq
10-09-2003, 07:26 PM
I love nutella.

Does that shoe have an 8-ball on it? Is that a joke picture? That is a wierd looking shoe.

Evilmav2
10-09-2003, 07:38 PM
I think the eight ball is supposed to refer to #8 Kobe...

The eight ball thing is pretty ridiculous, and in my opinion this is a very ugly shoe, but this is an accurate picture of the Air Huarache 2K4, the shoe that was slated to be Kobe's signature shoe this year, and he has reportedly been wearing them (go check out the shoe fanatics on niketalk.com to confirm this)...

madape
10-09-2003, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by: Evilmav2
I think the eight ball is supposed to refer to #8 Kobe...

The eight ball thing is pretty ridiculous, and in my opinion this is a very ugly shoe, but this is an accurate picture of the Air Huarache 2K4, the shoe that was slated to be Kobe's signature shoe this year, and he has reportedly been wearing them (go check out the shoe fanatics on niketalk.com to confirm this)...



http://207.67.235.67/images/a234.jpg

Nah, folks are lining up to endorse Kobe.

MavKikiNYC
10-09-2003, 08:03 PM
And just think....they could still use the same product name.

LRB
10-09-2003, 08:03 PM
Originally posted by: madape

Originally posted by: Evilmav2
I think the eight ball is supposed to refer to #8 Kobe...

The eight ball thing is pretty ridiculous, and in my opinion this is a very ugly shoe, but this is an accurate picture of the Air Huarache 2K4, the shoe that was slated to be Kobe's signature shoe this year, and he has reportedly been wearing them (go check out the shoe fanatics on niketalk.com to confirm this)...



http://207.67.235.67/images/a234.jpg

Nah, folks are lining up to endorse Kobe.


Talk about plugging a product.
i/expressions/face-icon-small-wink.gif

Dirk Nowitzki
10-09-2003, 11:40 PM
Those have to be the ugliest shoes I have seen since Ewings where in style!

Drbio
10-09-2003, 11:43 PM
The 8-ball is appropriate. After all, Kobe is behind the 8-ball at this point.

Big Boy Laroux
10-10-2003, 11:16 AM
man, those are hideous.

MavsFanatik33
10-10-2003, 12:28 PM
Those shoes are horrible. i doubt Kobe is all that sad that Nutella isn't endorsing him anymore. I think this trial effect Kobe for a long time. He might have trouble getting sponsors now...

LRB
10-10-2003, 12:31 PM
Originally posted by: MavsFanatik33
Those shoes are horrible. i doubt Kobe is all that sad that Nutella isn't endorsing him anymore. I think this trial effect Kobe for a long time. He might have trouble getting sponsors now...

Not to mention teenage girls to come into his hotel room