Wednesday, June 27, 2007

One down.....

So I guess the sneaker battle is a wrap for Greg Oden because word is that he’s signed a deal with Nike and went as far to say, "I felt really good in my Lebron’s (sneakers) that I played in for college.” "When I was in Portland on my workout, us and Nike really wanted to get this thing settled and done with. It's like a weight off my shoulders, and to be a part of the Nike family with all the tradition, it's like a dream."

Although terms for the Nike deal haven’t been released yet, rest assured it’s not going to be the $90-million over seven years deal that LeBron James inked in 2003. Oden has already signed a $3-million deal with Topps Trading Card Company. This strikes me as odd that Topps was able to sign Oden, when it appeared that Upper Deck was pushing to sign the big man.

Does this signing now mean that we’re going to see a line of Greg Oden sneakers from Nike? I wouldn’t drive the lane so quickly professing this because Nike, and similar companies, have had a hard time marketing a big man who plays back-to-the-basket type basketball. Look at what happened with Shaq and Reebok. That was a pure tragedy.

The only successful marketing campaign that Nike has had with a big man was with David Robinson, of the San Antonio Spurs, who with his chiseled physique and holier-than-though image because he served in the Navy, no other big man has since been able to top Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood to sell sneakers in the ‘hood and in the ‘burbs.

I’d bet dimes to dollars that we’ll see Oden wearing a number of Nike sneakers for his rookie season while Nike figures out how to ‘market’ Oden and his 40-something looking mug to kids.

Time will only tell.


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