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how nba shoe deals work nike

How NBA Shoe Deals Work, & How Jordan Made $100 Million Last Year

by KD McMahon

NBA players are the highest paid professional athletes in the United States with the average NBA player now averaging $4.9 million per year from the league alone. When you factor in endorsements deals from places like athletic wear companies, sports drinks, and electronics manufacturers, that number can easily double or triple.

Did you know that approximately 1 out of every 2 NBA players will sign with Nike before they even play their first game? Most don’t. In fact, there is a misconception among many people on how shoe deals for NBA players work.

It is often a lengthy, complicated contract with a lot of risk and little money being made for the players in the beginning. Read on to find out how NBA shoe deals work

Chuck Taylor and the History of Shoes in the NBA

vintage chuck taylor converseIn order to understand why NBA shoes are a multi billion dollar business today, we have to look at how we got here. In 1917, Converse began outfitting NBA players with the first ever performance basketball sneaker known as the “All-Star”.

An All-American high school basketball player by the name of Charles “Chuck” Taylor began wearing the shoes and soon after graduating high school, traveled to the Converse sales office. He was hired immediately and became the first “spokesman” for NBA shoes, despite not being an NBA player.

Taylor traveled around the country promoting the “All-Star” shoes to basketball players at the professional level as well as high school and college level. Within 6 years, his signature was added to the sole and the shoe was renamed the Converse Chuck Taylor All-Stars. Soon enough, Chuck Taylors were synonymous with the NBA.

In the 1970’s, Nike jumped into the NBA shoe business by debuting their Blazer shoe. Puma followed soon after that. In response to the threat of competition after dominating the industry for 50 years, Converse released the Weapons shoe and signed Magic Johnson and Larry Bird to wear them.

Michael Jordan Creates His Own Shoe With Nike

air jordan shoe deal nikeIn 1984, Michael Jordan chose to sign his shoe deal with Nike, for $250,000. While Adidas offered $500,000, Nike was offering something that nobody else had ever done: a revenue deal. Nike proposed that Jordan take a smaller payment up front in exchange for a percentage of the revenue earned by the shoes.

They also stipulated that if the shoes didn’t earn $3 million in the first 3 years, the contract was over. In 1985, Air Jordans grossed $130 million in revenue and the NBA shoe industry was born.

Michael Jordan’s first branded shoe, Air Jordans. 1984.

Every NBA Player Signs a Shoe Deal

timofey mozgov shoesThe vast majority of players are never going to be Michael Jordan. Since it is essentially a gamble on who will become a star NBA player, every player signs a shoe deal. Timofey Mozgov, center for the Los Angeles Lakers candidly detailed his experiences for Sports.ru:

“…here in the League, all the players, even those who are just starting, have a personal relationship with sportswear manufacturers. No matter how much stardom a player has, the companies consider it their professional duty to make it so that “even that new guy” represents their brand. It doesn’t matter how much playing time he gets and what year of his contract it is, because he’s already a part of the elite club: the NBA. And this already means a lot in America. 

…I signed my contract with Nike on October 11. And I played my first game, as I recall, only on 27th. But here it’s normal.”

While Mozgov signed with Nike for his shoe deal, Under Armour and Adidas are also becoming major contenders in the NBA shoe market. While virtually every single NBA player will sign their shoe deal with one of these three companies, Nike still holds court, commanding a dominant share of the basketball shoe market.

However, in an effort to further muscle into Nike’s near-monopoly, Adidas recently signed one of the biggest shoe deals ever with Damian Lillard, eclipsing Kyrie’s Nike shoe deal, and further raising the stakes in the world of NBA shoe deals.

Shoe Deals: Little Money Up Front; Many Opportunities for Bonuses

incentives donkeyContrary to popular belief, when an athlete signs a contract with a professional sporting organization, the number that is announced is actually the maximum that player can earn during those contract terms.

For example, if the hot new NBA player signs a three year, $50 million dollar contract, that means that $50 million is the maximum amount he can make from the NBA in that three year period.

In order to achieve that $50 million pinnacle, he must hit every single metric that his contract stipulates to make the money that isn’t “guaranteed.” This includes per game metrics, per season metrics, awards, no fines or injuries and no benching.

The same exact concept applies to shoe contracts for NBA players.

Mozgov spoke very frankly about the structure of his deal:

“Right now I’m not getting any money from them directly. Yes, in my contract there are generous bonuses for all sorts of individual achievement – getting on the list of the top players of the week, top rookie lists, Rookie of the Year award, and so on. And also for game performance: points, minutes, rebounds, blocked shots… So, for almost every positive stat on the boxscore.”

Mozgov’s shoe deal is structured so that he got a signing bonus up front and is then given an account with Nike where he is able to order merchandise from them from his balance with them. That is to say, Nike is paying part of his earnings out in merchandise rather than cash. When he hits certain pre-determined metrics, he is finally paid out in that sweet, sweet cash.

Why Do Athletic Shoe Companies Pay? Michael Jordan!

how nba shoe deals work nikeMichael Jordan has not played in the NBA in nearly 15 years but his Jordan branded shoes through Nike rang in nearly $3 billion dollars in 2016. Additionally, the Jordan shoe line has a marketshare of 64% of the entire basketball shoe market. Nike branded shoes follow with 29%, followed by Under Armour with 3.6% and Adidas SportsOneSource with 2.3%.

Michael Jordan will end up making about $100 million from his Nike Jordan collaboration for 2016. Forbes estimates that $100 million actually beats the $94 million he made in total from the NBA in all 15 seasons combined.

When lightning strikes, it is a very lucrative business for everyone involved. It is projected that Nike has made nearly $25 billion from it’s Michael Jordan collaboration.

NBA Shoe Deals: In Closing

So while an NBA player will sign their shoe deal with one of the major companies, they won’t get a significant amount of money up front. Much of their payment comes in the form of credit to their account with the company and they can achieve cash bonuses based on performance. As you can see, signing an NBA shoe deal is as complicated as signing with the NBA itself.


*Ever wonder why new shoe releases for top players cost so much and are never eligible for coupons from Finish Line or free shipping at Foot Locker? These mega-shoe deals are definitely to blame, although if you can wait a few months, they might become eligible for coupons when they aren’t so hot.

kyrie irving cavs dunks

Kyrie Irving Bio: A Hungry & Humble Phenom w/ a Sweet Shoe Deal!

Kyrie Irving Bio: 2011, the year that Kyrie Irving arrived in Cleveland as the No. 1 draft pick, was the beginning of a new era in Cavaliers basketball. Irving’s arrival came at the perfect time for the recent power of the Cuyahoga, (The County where Cleveland is located, named after the mighty Cuyahoga indians) as it followed one of the darkest seasons in the Cavaliers’ 45-year history.

Not only had Cleveland lost LeBron James to Miami in free agency the year before, (when he took his talents to South Beach) but the Cavaliers had completed an embarrassing 19-63 campaign that saw them lose 22 consecutive games, a drastic fall for a team that was a perennial championship contender as recently as the previous season.

In Kyrie We Trust!

kyrie irving amatuer playerInto the void stepped the consensus top amateur player in 2011, the Australian-born Kyrie Irving. Though hampered by an injured big toe that allowed him to play just 11 games in his Duke career, the guard’s phenomenal skills were obvious, possessing the vision to find a teammate on the fly, the agility to get into position, and the marksmanship to nail an open look at the basket.

Gradually, Kyrie Irving helped build the foundation to resurrect the Cavaliers from one of the league’s worst teams into a true contender for the title. The Cavaliers recognized what they had when after two seasons they inked him to a five-year, $90 million contract extension ($18 million / year) in 2014.

Their faith was almost instantly rewarded. When James returned to Ohio, Irving had created the atmosphere that allowed the league’s best player to take the Cavaliers over the hurdle that stymied his first tenure in Cleveland.

In two seasons alongside Kevin Love, Cleveland’s Big Three produced 110 regular-season wins, two Eastern Conference championships and the real pinnacle: bringing the city of Cleveland its first championship of any kind since 1964 by dethroning the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 NBA Finals.

Kyrie Irving Top 10 Highlights

Kyrie’s Father, Drederick Irving “Hunger & Humility”

kyrie irving dadKyrie’s Mother passed away when he was only 4 years old, so the responsibility of raising Kyrie fell on his dad, Drederick’s shoulders . Throughout his son’s life, Drederick was never willing to let Kyrie settle for less than was possible for him to achieve, both on and off the court.

For the guard from West Orange, N.J., hunger and humility are values that his father Drederick instilled in him at a young age.

Whether it was in the classroom, in the home, or in the gym, Drederick always made sure that Kyrie set a reasonable goal for himself, a value that Kyrie still practices and plans to pass on to his daughter as she grows up. Often, he writes down both his goals and inspiring quotes to help guide him throughout the season and throughout his life.

kyrie irving shoes bio

Photo Credit: Nike.com

Kyrie Irving: It’s Gotta’ Be the Shoes!

kyrie 3 irving shoes blackA large part of Irving’s success in resurrecting the Cavaliers has been having the right shoes on his feet. There might be no position where shoes are more critical to success than a guard in the NBA because of the need for quick thinking and decision-making; and that’s before throwing in the nasty crossover dribbles that make a guard like Kyrie Irving so difficult for opposing defenses to stop.

When trying to knife through a defense to create a shot for either himself or a teammate, Irving often has to maneuver through a small window, with no more than a split-second to make his decision on which way to take the basketball before the defender realizes what he’s doing and cuts him off.

Executing such a move requires a lightning-fast first step and complete trust in your shoes’ ability to hold their ground in response to the force placed on them. You might say Kyrie’s shoes are the literal foundation of his success.

Kyrie Irving Sneakers from Nike: The Kyrie 3 – “JBY” and “H + H”

kyrie irving shoes jby hhThe Kyrie 3 shoe grants that freedom of motion with its pair of traction pods, giving the wearer total control over when they stop and where they stop. In the NBA, that can be the difference between creating a basket and creating a turnover.

“This game is separated by very finite moments where you have to get your shot off,” Irving said. “My shoe speaks to that. Being able to stop on a dime and cross over and go another direction, I can’t wait for players to try it.”

The Kyrie 3 highlights Irving’s unique style and personality in ways that go beyond his skills on the court. Each shoe is adorned with abbreviations of two of the quotes that have shaped his life from his earliest days:

  1.  JBY for “Just Be You” : “JBY, just be you is the motto I live by every single day because I’m happy to be an individual. I celebrate it. I think that everyone should celebrate their individuality” – Kyrie
  2.  H + H for “Hungry and Humble : “Hungry and humble is something my Dad gave me as a kid that I most likely will give to my daughter, whether she plays sports or not. It’s always staying hungry for more and never being satisfied. Acknowledging the present moment, what you’ve accomplished, and then thinking about what’s up ahead and how you’ll prepare yourself for that. Then of course the humility part. It’s supposed to go unnoticed, your humility. You’re supposed to be humble, you’re supposed to show respect to other human beings, to anyone. You respect other people’s journeys, and also you respect your own” – Kyrie

The shoes also have the roman numerals, “VIII” and “XIII” (the same numbers that are tattooed on his wrist) as a reference to his late mother’s birthday & death. Also, on the sole you’ll see the names, Azurie and Elizabeth,” the names of his daughter and wife.  Click to view larger:

Tip: If you’re looking for the latest Kyrie shoes, Foot Locker and Finish Line have the best selection online and almost identical pricing:

*You won’t ever find coupons for the newest Kyrie shoe release anywhere, but you might find kyrie shoes on sale, or get free shipping. Promo codes might work towards older styles, like the Kyrie 1 or kyrie 2.

Kyrie Irving’s Million Dollar Shoe Deal With Nike

kyrie irving shoes bioSpeaking of shoes, you can’t talk about Kyrie’s NBA contract without mentioning his shoe deal with Nike. Kyrie got his own signature shoe deal with Nike, and in 2014 they released the Kyrie 1.

So, how much money is Kyrie’s shoe deal worth? Shoe deals are a little complicated, but here’s an estimate of what Kyrie’s shoe deal is worth:

  • Kyrie is one of the faces of Nike Basketball, an endorsement worth about $5 million a year
  • 5% royalty on all shoe sales is standard. When the Kyrie 1 launched in December 2014, Nike sold over $7 million worth of Kyrie 1’s in just the first month after launch!
  • Add incentives & bonuses: Whenever a basketball player inks a signature shoe deal, they get bonuses based on performance. As of 2017, Kyrie is already a 3x All-Star, All-NBA, and 2016 League champ, so add bonuses to the annual total
  • Free shoes – Add in a lot of free pairs of shoes and Nike swag!
  • As the bulk of his $11 million in total endorsements, I’d estimate Kyrie’s total Nike deal is worth about $8 million a year, with the shoe deal alone being worth around $3 million annually. That’s a nice boost to his impressive current net worth

Kyrie’s Impressive Stats & Career Highlights: “Always Staying Hungry”

Irving’s dedication to success and hitting his goals have been evident in his consistency with the Cavaliers. Through his first six seasons in the league, he has never averaged fewer than 18 points per game, and his free throw percentage, a mark of concentration and mental fortitude, has never been below 85.5 percent, an average that usually ranks in the top 25 in the entire league.

Other career highlights include:

  • kyrie irving biography2010 McDonald’s All-American (high school)
  • 2010 Jordan Brand High School All-American (high school)
  • USA Olympic Gold Medal (2016)
  • 3× NBA All-Star (2013–2015)
  • NBA All-Star Game MVP (2014)
  • All-NBA Third Team (2015)
  • NBA Rookie of the Year (2012)
  • NBA All-Rookie First Team (2012)
  • NBA Rising Stars Challenge MVP (2012)
  • NBA Three-Point Shootout champion (2013)
  • USA Basketball Male Athlete of the Year (2014)
  • FIBA World Cup MVP (2014)
  • NBA champion (2016)
  • Kyrie Irving’s full stats – espn.com

More important to Kyrie Irving than his individual stats has been the continued upward trajectory of his team. With the Cavaliers again among the NBA’s elite franchises, Irving seems poised to continue the success that has made him one of the NBA’s most exciting and productive competitors for years to come.

Photo Credit: Cleveland.com

nike roshe coupon 10

Nike Roshe: Finish Line Coupon for $10 Off + Free Shipping, Ongoing Sale

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Nike Roshe Sale at finishline.com
 – If you are looking for the best price for Roshe’s online, look no further. There’s a huge sale on them at Finish Line going on right now, and 2 new coupons for up to $20 off on their site. You can also use a promo code towards most sale items, giving you the best prices plus free shipping:


nike roshe women sale

Nike Roshe 1& 2 Running Shoes On Sale + Free Delivery at Finish Line!

Its taken me a while to come around to the Nike Roshe, but I’ve finally become a fan. I’m not sure why it took me so long – perhaps it’s because they were too “simple” looking? Not sure; but as a professional designer, I’m personally always striving for a “less is best” aesthetic, and that’s certainly what the shoe designers over at Nike were going for when designing this shoe.

nike roshe finish line free ship

Why Are they Called Nike “Roshe,” Anyway?

Roshe Fun Fact: The Nike Roshe’s original designer, was named Dylan Raasch, which is pretty close to the name of the shoe. However, he didn’t name them after himself. Instead, he named the shoe the “Roshe” as a nod to Roshi, the title given to a Zen master, the ultimate expression of simplicity and calmness.

Well, they obviously got the design right – they are selling like mad and there is a continual stream of new releases featuring interesting color combinations and patterns.

Roshe Fun Fact #2: The original Roche Run colorway, called “iguana” green, was inspired by the moss and rocks in a traditional Zen garden. Not sure if the new “fly knit” technology is named in honor of of Mr. Miyagi, (you know, catching the flies with chopsticks?) but maybe subconsciously?

Roshe Fun Fact #3:  None of the 100+ “Mike Rosche’s” on Facebook inspired the design or get royalties from the sale, although at least a few of them probably own a pair of Rosh’s.

So, in conclusion, “Nike” named after a Greek God, plus “Roshe” named after a Zen master. That’s a pretty intense name for a running shoe!

nike roshe run red

A Selection of Roshe Shoes Fit for a Zen Master (Or, Not?)

Actually, monks are not known for running, let alone spending $100 on a pair of running shoes, so that’s not an accurate statement. I think they would prefer free sandals if given the choice. Maybe it’s just another example of the commercialization of something pure, like Christmas, or the Toyota “Sequoia,” whose terrible CO2 emissions ironically kills trees.

Anyway, the collection of Nike Roshe over at Finish Line is pretty solid, and they are constantly adding new ones to the sale section. They will also frequent the new shoe release calendar, so if you are a real fan, that’s a good page to bookmark.

One of the best things about the Roshe One & Two is that they are pretty inexpensive to start with, and about $20 cheaper than the Shox. With the current $15 off coupon you can get a sweet pair for about $75. Tack on free shipping, which Finish Line offers with every pair of Nike Rosche Runs, and you can get a great deal on a really great shoe. It’s that simple!

nike air max coupon

Nike Air Max at Finish Line: 3 Coupons, Air Max’s On Sale + Free Shipping

nike air max smallThe NIKE Outlet Sale section at finishline.com – Why pay full price when you can find hundreds of styles of Nike shoes for men, women, and kids at the Finish Line Nike Outlet. You can also use a promo code towards most sale items, giving you the best prices plus free shipping:

nike air max coupon men

Nike Air Max 1: Get a $10-20 Coupon at Finish Line!

finish line logo smallThe Nike Air Max has been a strong presence in the running shoe scene since it was first introduced. Featuring the distinctive Air Max cushioning unit at the heel, extremely lightweight,  and a myriad of interesting colorways, the Nike Air Max sets the standard for shoes that blur the line between sport performance and casual styling.

Air Max’s Are Eligible for Promo Codes at FinishLine.com including Air-Max 90’s

Finish Line has a great selection of Nike Air Max shoes for men, women, and kids. Some of their hot Max’s include the Premium Tape, the Nike Air Max 1 Paris, ultra flyknit running shoes, ultra essential running shoes, air max 95, air max 90, and Thea Jacquard SE running shoe.

Like most popular car models, Nike is also expected to put out a new Air Max design every year, so look for shoe descriptions to incude “2016, 2017, 2018, 2019″, etc!

When it debuted all the way back in 1987, the Nike Air Max 1 was an instant hit, impressing wearers with its simplistic blueprint and unmatched comfort. And to this day, it continues to attract those who want a nice blend of a clean and stylish, yet unpretentious, sneaker that can still provide the support needed for those who spend a lot of time on their feet.

another nike air max coupon

The Air Max is a Classic that is Still Evolving (like bigfoot?)

Nike has lately been getting creative with the colorways and materials they have been using to dress up the Nike Air Max 1, but at the core it still remains a classic, well-built and comfortable shoe.

Why are Air Max’s so successful, you ask? The unique “stair step” design of the upper, minimalist branding, and visible Air Max units along the sole add to the distinctive look. Tack on the legendary comfort, as well as Nike’s continual desire to innovate, and you have a shoe that should have no problem sticking around for another three decades. (unless we blow ourselves up first

Air Max’s on Sale! Almost half of the selection of Air Max’s at Finishline.com are currently on sale – and if you do decide to pick up a pair, make sure that you also pick up one of our coupons for Finish Line as well to get an even better deal. You can see when the latest Air Max designs are scheduled on the Finish Line release calendar.

 

The Nike Air Max Launched a Sneaker Revolution & Has a Celebrity Following

My rule of thumb when it comes to women and shoes is, “if it’s good enough for Adam Levine, its good enough for me.” I know that’s inspiring and humble, but it’s true.

finish line nike air max celebrities

Ever since these shoes were first released about 30 years ago, Air Max’s have been associated with celebrity, sport and music. The first TV campaign for the AM1 used the Beatles song “Revolution,” and they were later endorsed by multi-sport athlete Bo Jackson.

Even today, the Nike Air Force one has a great celebrity following, being seen on the feet of celebrities such as Adam Levine, Joe Manganiello and Jude Law.

air max celebrities

The Maxes have also have evolved with new fly knit technology for runners. Check it out:

nike outlet finish line

Nike Outlet at Finish Line: 10-40% Off Sale – Many Also Ship Free

finish line logo smallThe NIKE Outlet Sale section at finishline.com – Why pay full price when you can find hundreds of styles of Nike shoes for men, women, and kids at the Finish Line Nike Outlet. You can also use a promo code towards most sale items, giving you the best prices plus free shipping:

nike outlet header

Nike Outlet at FinishLine.com – Sale Items Including Running Shoes, & Air Max basketball shoes for Men & Women!

The Nike Outlet section over at Finishline.com is an awesome place to find sweet deals on some of the most popular basketball shoes on the market, such as Jordans, Nike Lebrons, Huarache running shoes, and Air Max, Hyperdunks. They also have a deal for 30% off Nike Elite socks.

You can regularly find shoes up to 50% off their normal prices at the Nike Outlet! It’s like a digital version of the Nike Factory Store with merchandise added regularly – and you don’t even have to leave your couch. Sa-weet!


nike womens outlet finish line

Great deals at the Finish line Nike Outlet:

Probably the best deal that I’ve seen at the Nike Outlet over at Finish Line is the Nike Air Max running Shoes on sale. These kicks were $224.99 a bit ago, and now they are on sale for $129.98!

Also look for a wide selection of running shoes for both women and men. I’m looking at the outlet selection (which changes daily) and see that they just added some basketball shoes including Kyrie 3, Nike Zoom Pegasus, Roshe One, Nike Free, and Nike Air Force 1.

Finishline.com Coupons Should Work On Top of Sale / Outlet Prices

It’s perfectly acceptable to stack a Finish Line coupon on top of the already super low prices at the Finish Line Nike Outlet if your checkout total meets the required minimum amount. Just click over to our homepage to grab a coupon if you decide to cop a pair or two of kicks.

Many of Their Nike’s Also Ship Free


There are hundreds of styles of Nike at finishline.com, but only some ship free. We made a separate link above to the current styles that qualify for free shipping, so check it out! *Also, if you have a minute, you can check out the interesting history of nike here.

 

finish line release calendar

Finish Line Launch Release Calender for New Shoes Including Air Jordans

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Calendar for new product launches at Finish Line, Including Nike Air Jordans
– I was looking for when the new Jordans were coming out, and stumbled upon Finish Line’s handy launch calendar on their site. This calendar actually is a little hard to find unless you do a search on-site, or follow their blog or Facebook page. In any event, you can get to the calendar quickly right here:

finish line release calendarView the Finish Line Launch Calendar

 *Save up to 20% with the latest on-site coupons at finishline.com


finish line jordan shoe launch

New Shoe Releases at Finish Line: Mark Your Calendar!

The release calendar is easy to use, and updates itself automatically to show you both recent and upcoming releases. Dominated by Nike and Jordan, the calendar lets you know when the hottest signature shoes from players like Lebron and Kyrie Irving are going to hit the market and when they’ll be available at finishline.com

Finish Line usually posts these as soon as they hit the wire, so maybe you want to bookmark their release calendar if you haven’t already.

finish line nike calendar release

Calendar for new product launches at Finish Line, Including Nike Air Jordans, & New Air Max Release Dates

You can also get notified of these releases instantly and earn rewards on purchases if you are a Winner’s Circle member. Need a coupon? Check out their latest featured promo codes here.