Monday, September 1, 2014

This is great news for everyone that truly loves KD's signature brand with Nike. It looks like Durant's relationship with Nike Sportswear Basketball Design Director Leo Chang will be strengthened further, with Nike recognizing what they had in the future potential with Durant.
Nike raised the bar with KD's sneaker deal, worth $300 Million. $15 Million over the Under Armour deal would be enough to not only lock in Durant for the remainder of his career, but to continue to build on the great rapport they already have together. 
Many in the sneaker culture were upset when they heard Durant may be leaving Nike. When you understand the business aspect of it, and understand Durant was only looking for a secure opportunity to continue taking care of his family and loved ones, it only makes sense. We are certainly happy Nike CEO Mark Parker and the Board of Directors realized the incredible talent and hard work ethic Kevin Durant possesses, on and off the court. I call this a match made in sneaker heaven.  Cali "O" #TeamKickGame


Sunday, August 31, 2014

This is what you call "Brooklyn Fresh"!! Word to Ricardo Tisci. End of story.


It looks like the deal is done. Nike, which had until September 4th to counter the enormous deal  to bring Kevin Durant over to Under Armour, thought about the prospects of losing its shining star. While terms of the deal have yet to be disclosed, Durant will make more than the $20 Million per year he would've received from Under Armour. I would classify this as a "win-win" situation, for KD and the sneaker culture.

 Although the sneaker deal is about business, before anything else, Kevin Durant's sneaker legacy would've "stoppped" at Nike's door. I could not imagine wearing a pair of  sneakers that has no impact (yet) on the culture. Sure, everybody has their own style, but do you know anyone that wears Under Armour basketball shoes? Besides the players who are endorsed by them? I certainly don't.
Since the great business mind of Jay-Z and Roc Nation Sports Management is involved, they wanted to see the best results for Durant. Nike is the brand that is a household name like Big Mac and Coke, but at the end of the day, you want a brand that will show its appreciation for the hard work you put into being the best.
Nike has been raising prices of its sneakers for the past two years, so why shouldn't Kevin Durant see an increase in his sneaker salary? This was a deal that made alot of sense. Salute to KD, job well done. Respect to Jay-Z, who proved he can close any deal. Successfully.  Cali "O" #TeamKickGame


Sunday, August 24, 2014

 It's been the talk amongst true sneakerheads and KD fans all week. Should Kevin Durant leave Nike for Under Armour? Well, from my perspective, the answer is: Yes and No. I say "yes" for several reasons. When you're talking numbers, it makes sense for anybody who truly understands business. You have a company that is offering $285 Million dollars for an athlete to wear their shoes. Shoes! Remember, the NBA is not paying Durant that much to play basketball.
Nike, who picked up Durant back in 2007, helped to make KD a household name and propelled his status in the sneaker culture. However, Nike's contract with Durant is reportedly only worth $60 Million. Nike pays out about 12.5% on endorsement payouts, and it is being reported by Forbes magazine that they just started seeing a return on the money they advanced Durant.
 There is one major fact we have to remember: Nike reserves the right to match the Under Armour deal, which they could with their eyes blindfolded. In 2011, it is estimated Durant only sold about $15 Million in sneakers and apparel, while in 2012 that number jumped to $35 Million in retail. Durant cleared $14 Million this past season in endorsements combined, with $12 Million of that coming from Nike. Sprint, NBA 2K, and other deals amounted the balance. 
Another fact to point out is in 2007, Adidas offered Durant $20 Million dollars more than Nike, per year, but Durant understood the importance of branding himself at that time. Here we are, 7 years later, and $285 Million, 10-year contract on the table. I say yes....and no.
 I say "No" because Under Armour is not known for basketball sneakers. At least, not in the sneaker culture. Some might argue the point that Nike was in the same position back in 1984 when they signed Michael Jordan. True. Under Armour is slowly coming from the "underground" when it comes to basketball, signing Steph Curry (who also left Nike) to unveil his own shoe, and DeAndre Jordan to sneaker deals. Although that's a great look for these players to have sneaker deals, Under Armour is yet to make an impact on the sneaker community, who buy the sneakers.
Whether Durant could prove to be a giant at Under Armour, and generate sales, is yet to be seen. However, with Durant's credibility, his recent MVP Award and speech, and now the cover of the upcoming NBA 2K game, KD is in high demand. Roc Nation Sports Management is behind him, and Jay-Z  alongside partner Juan Perez, are brilliant businessmen. If KD does decide to finalize the deal with Under Armour, we could see a hot signature line come out of it. But will the fans of his Nike signature line jump ship and support him under a new umbrella?
Nike is running the campaign for the new KD VII's as we speak, If Durant walks away, this could mean dismal sales for KD's newest, and possibly the last, signature line for him.
Nike's revenue is $28 Billion this past fiscal year, with Jordan Brand clearing well over $2 Billion by itself. LeBron James is reported to be the top-selling athlete for basketball kicks, with Kobe right behind him. Will Nike match Under Armour's numbers? They can, and if their smart, they will try to at least come close to keep their star on the rise.
If Nike walks away from Kevin Durant, it could signal a shift in power for the 2015 sneaker game.  Adidas is mounting a serious comeback, and we could see Durant become the face of a company that needs him to corner a market they only have a 1% stake in. Stay tuned to KickGame DVD, and we'll bring you up to speed in the KD / Under Armour saga.  Cali "O" #TeamKickGame


Saturday, August 23, 2014

 Clean. Rich. Two elements normally associated with sneaker giant Nike. However, it looks like we could be coming into the dawn of a new era. Adidas recently launched their newest design, unveiled as the C-10's.
The first thing I noticed on these kicks was the lack of major branding. The "3 Stripes" logo is still present, but is more abstract, giving the sneakers a clean, rich look. The absence of major branding allows you to focus more on the details of the kicks, rather than who it's made by.
Normally, you would see a pair of kicks like these appear in Adidas' overseas market, like Japan or Europe. I believe they took a page out of their Y-3 signature line to introduce something new to their U.S. customers. The results look like a great sneaker that could capture the attention of many sneakerheads, because of it's richness, and what we anticipate from the collaboration of Adidas and Kanye West, as well as Pharell. 
 The premium suede, The straps that adorn the side panels, and the aerodynamics of the shoe itself, set these apart from the traditional kicks Adidas is known for. With the C-10's, it looks like the German sneaker giant is planning a strategic comeback in the U.S. market by giving the culture something refreshing.
I'm very excited, as a sneakerhead and OG of the culture, to see these kicks come from a brand that means so much to the Hip-Hop community from day one. Adidas fell to the second spot for a few decades, but we anticipate a resurgence like no other. It's good to shake things up a bit. The game always changes. Keep your eyes open.  Cali "O" #TeamKickGame
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