The NBA lockout hasn’t threatened shoe companies’ creativity. But it may threaten their wallets.Industry experts report brands like Adidas and Nike and retailers like Foot Locker and Champs could lose up to $500 million if the NBA season is cancelled. That’s nearly a quarter of the $2 billion basketball shoe industry.
About one-third of basketball shoes are actually purchased to play basketball in, according to industry analyst Marshal Cohen. Which means the other 67% is heavily dependent on exposure. Something Nike, Adidas and Under Armour won’t have now that the NBA season isn’t beginning Tuesday night – or anytime in the next month.
“The impact would be huge,” Cohen told the USA Today. “Out of sight, out of mind. If the players are not on the court, and the kids aren’t thinking about them, they’re not going out and getting their shoes.”
Others disagree, citing that the 1999 NBA lockout failed to significantly hurt shoe sales. Adidas’ basketball business even grew 25 per cent in the company’s last quarter.
But it will be the final quarter of the year – easily the retail business’ most profitable months – that should worry companies most.
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