The biggest proponent of David Stern and Billy Hunter’s handshake deal to begin a 66-game NBA season may not be whom you’d expect.
It’s not Kobe Bryant, who can resume his plight to sit atop the NBA’s all-time scoring throne and match Michael Jordan with a sixth NBA championship. It’s not LeBron James, hopeful for another opportunity to accomplish the first step in his prediction of multiple championships. It’s not even fans.
The happiest group to emerge from the NBA lockout’s conclusion is Adidas, the league’s official uniform and apparel supplier. Midway through an 11-year partnership, the sports retail giant has suffered financially from the loss of basketball.
Out of sight. Out of mind. That’s how it works for consumers.
Basketball jersey sales are down a reported 38 per cent, according to the New York Post. Analysts expect total sales to fall to $1 billion, a significant decline from nearly $3 billion in revenue last year.
There is reason for hope. Because owner’s agreed to remove the “Melo Rule” from their demands, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul and Deron Williams could all switch teams this season.
Mid-season trades involving any of the above would significantly boost jersey sales in the team’s new market.
It would be a small victory. But, at this point, any victory for Adidas counts.
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