Reebok is hoping that projected top draft pick John Wall can replace Allen Iverson as the new face of its basketball shoe lines.
John Wall is a lightning-quick point guard and the No. 1 pick, according to most pundits, in Thursday’s NBA draft.
Reebok is hoping that Wall can replace Allen Iverson as the new face of its basketball shoe lines. The Canton-based sporting goods company announced it has signed Wall to a multi-year endorsement contract. The deal is worth $25 million over five years, according to a report by Yahoo Sports.
Wall’s deal would be the biggest hoops endorsement for Reebok since Iverson signed a lifetime deal worth $50 million in 2001. The 35-year-old former MVP has been slowed by age and injuries in recent years, and took an indefinite leave from the Philadelphia 76ers in February to care for his ailing daughter.
Wall went pro after a spectacular freshman year at the University of Kentucky in which he broke the school record for most assists in a season.
Now Reebok is counting on Wall to revive sales of its basketball shoes, which are dwarfed by industry leader Nike’s 93-percent market share. Reebok had less than 2 percent of the U.S. basketball shoe market last year, according to market researchers SportsOneSource.
Wall will promote Reebok’s new ZigTech Slash basketball shoes, which hit stores in the U.S. in mid-October, and become the first player to wear them on the court.
A commercial starring Wall will debut during Thursday’s NBA draft on ESPN and Wall will be featured in TV, online and print ads throughout the fall and winter, Reebok said.
But even if Wall plays up to expectations, there are limits to the $2.2-billion basketball shoe market’s near-term growth, SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell said.
“Footwear is often dictated as an accessory to apparel trends,” Powell said. “We’re clearly in a skinny tight denim trend right now, and that doesn’t work well with a big clunky basketball shoe.”
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