Monday, August 23rd, 2010 at 1:58 pm  |  39 responses

UPDATE: Evan Turner Signs Deal With Li-Ning

It’s official: Evan Turner has signed on to join Baron Davis as the face of Li-Ning’s North American kicks campaign. And while we don’t like big-upping ourselves, we told y’all Evan Turner was a trailblazer! We’ll update y’all when we know more.

UPDATE: From our friends at Li-Ning:

Li-Ning Company Limited (“Li-Ning” or the “Group”; HKSE stock code: 2331) has officially entered into a long term endorsement agreement with Evan Turner, the 2010 recipient of the Naismith Award, the John Wooden Award and the Associated Press Men’s College Basketball Player of the Year. Turner becomes the latest addition to Li-Ning’s growing cast of global talent and expands the brand’s NBA and East Coast presence.  The versatile and multi-faceted guard/forward, headed to the Philadelphia 76ers next season, will join the Beijing-based sportswear company in its quest to create a family of world-class, all-star competitors.

“This is truly a game-changing moment for the Li-Ning brand,” said Li-Ning’s Brand Initiative Director for Basketball, Brian Cupps.  “Adding a supreme young talent like Evan Turner sends a message to the global basketball community that Li-Ning basketball is committed to being a player on the global stage.”

Turner, who played collegiately for the Ohio State Buckeyes, led the Big Ten Conference in scoring for two straight years averaging a near double-double in points and rebounds during his collegiate career.  The Chicago native led the Buckeyes to a 2010 Big Ten Conference Championship and consecutive NCAA tournaments, including a sweet sixteen appearance.

“It’s great to have the support of a company that’s as eager as I am to perform at the highest level possible,” said Turner.  “I am excited to be part of a growing brand and to blaze a new path for future young ballplayers everywhere to follow.”

General Manager for Li-Ning International, Jay Li, envisions a bright future for Turner.  “We are thrilled to have another star representing Li-Ning,” he said.  “To compete and be relevant as a performance sports brand, you need representation of some of the world’s best, and we know we’re getting that in Evan Turner.”

Specific financial terms of the multi-year contract were not disclosed. Turner however will be showcasing his own Li-Ning Sports signature footwear and apparel product line, available globally, beginning in the second year of this agreement.  Turner will also play a major role in Li-Ning’s global marketing plans beginning immediately.

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  • floe

    nice move evan.

  • http://slamonline.com Ben Osborne

    Color me intrigued. I’m happy for both parties.

  • truth

    Don’t like this move by Turner.. He can make his own descision but I’ve never been a fan of this brand. Hopefully his sig model will be better than the rest of their stuff.

  • Hussman25

    *SHOULDER SHRUG* Not impressed or “moved” by this selection… -Diddy’s shoes look like something a Looney Tunes character would wear, but get ur paper Evan… *see you in some Nike’s in a few years*

  • http://nbacheapseats.blogspot.com Chendaddy

    Let’s see the shoe.

  • http://nbacheapseats.blogspot.com Chendaddy

    Yup @Hussman25 RT *see you in some Nike’s in a few years*

  • Migs

    Good move by Li-Ning… They need to be grabbing up more promising young players if they want to stay competitive. As much as I love Diddy, he’s past his peak.

    I like that Li-Ning is trying to break into the North American market. More competition is good for the industry, and will push Nike/Jordan Brand to innovate even more rather than relying on retros and hybrids of retros.

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    it’s great to see more shoe brands coming up. More competition should mean lower prices right? Please tell me I’m right

  • http://www.hoopsvibe.com/features/overdribbling chiqo

    you’re wrong. actually, i think most shoes other than nikes and jordans are decently affordable. the “best” shoes will never be less than $100.

  • http://slamonline BossTerry

    In a related story, John Wall signs with Avia..

  • Papa Smurf

    It would be nice if these players started wearing New Balance – shoes made in this country.

    It seems like the workers for all of these other brands are making terrible wages in foreign countries.

  • logues

    SLAM: i got a thing in the mail from u guys the other day saying to renew my subscription and it said something bout some bonus subscription. im pretty sure that my subscription shouldnt be up for awhile yet, so im just wondering if u sent that to everone or what the deal is. thanks

  • http://gmail dirty frank

    If Chinese build shoes like they build cars he better tape his ankles

  • Red

    Yeah I agree, a baller needs to sign a NB deal soon. I want it to be Stephen Curry

  • onlyclipsfanonslam

    @chiqo thanks for telling me I’m wrong and then adding a point that completely doesn’t correlate to my argument. I was talking about supply and demand…

  • http://www.shawnkemp.com Masr

    well congrats evan.

  • http://theurbangriot.com The Nupe

    I wonder how much he’s getting from them. I don’t really like their shoes from a visual perspective – but I’ve never worn them.

  • Robb

    Midseason news: Evan Turner suffers from plantar fasciits

  • Robb

    @papasmurf are there NB Basketball shoes?

  • Ronald

    @Dirty frank: Seeing, how the Chinese build basically everything you own, from Apple Iphones to kids to toys to Nike Shoes.

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Yeah not a big fan of this move, but can anyone else see this as directly related to J-Wall’s signing with Reebok? Turner seems to have a bit of a chip on his shoulder in regards to Wall. Not a big fan of Li-Ning shoes though, but I guess I’ve never worn them either.

  • Papa Smurf


    There are . . . but not much of a variety. Matt Bonner is the only NBA player that wears them (at least the only one I’m aware of).

  • Jim Jones

    @ Robb and Papa Smurf Charlie Bell also wears NB too but they need some legit all stars too. Good business move by Turner- remember his agent is David Faulk and he did mastermind the Jordan to Nike deal back in 1984 so maybe he’s just ahead of the game on this, plus the major shoe companies don’t offer as big contracts as they used to and these chinese companies seem to be giving out the cash. Im sure more and more players will be going where the green is especially with the current state of the CBA and the economy

  • Ronald

    Most players won’t wear NB, because NB doesn’t endorse athletes. At the end of the day, it’s all about the Money. And, I’m sure Li-Ning can throw the money and the personal attention at the athletes. Unlike Nike who have to cater for big stars like Kobe and Lebron, Li-Ning can fully provide Turner a shoe that works for him.

  • Krazed

    Evan looked good in the Sixers’ Hyperize colors during the summer league. Hope that Li-Ning will make a good shoe for him.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Is it just me or are other shoe deals like groupies – you fool around with them for a few years before settling down with Nike.

  • Saku 39

    @Ronald NB just started endorsing athletes – Johan Santana, Dustin Pedroia, and others. Made in America and offering different widths are good selling points. As for Turner, I guess it’s good he’s getting he’s money now, but I’m not convinced Li-Ning will last.

  • http://thekobebeef.wordpress.com LDR4

    Not a big fan of Li-Ning’s style. Chinese brands seem to be taking over the NBA. Turner and Baron Davis with Li-Ning, Garnett with Anta…surprised that Fox News hasn’t picked up on this and called the NBA communist.

  • Ol’skool

    @Ronald , Robb and Papa Smurf New Balance has discontinued they basketball brand and they are more focusing on Baseball and running sneakers.

  • Hussman25

    I believe the Chinese companies are strickly into making “basketball” shoes. Many companies we all like to buy from: Nike, Adidas, Converse, etc… like to make hoops shoes that are also for leisure/ fashion. I think many of the players are signing to these companies so they can get back to basics; make a shoe they can play well in… and that’s it. For the players who are a shade past their prime (B-Diddy and KG) doing this earlier in their careers would have been best. I still think abt KG as a Nike/Adidas man. (Love the about 5 adidas campaign)… Diddy will always be a Reebok man. ET gets a chance to do what VC tried to do early in his career (by rocking Puma’s to build his own brand too); but we seen where he ended up tho… Im all abt building your “own” brand, just dont sacrifice ur feet (see VC, Grant Hill, Jerry Stackhouse, etc… for examples of players in suspect footwear who’s physical demise could be associated w/ their early selections in footwear).

  • Ronald

    @Saku 39: Thanks for that. I wonder why they changed that. And, Li-Ning will last. Because it has a whole country backing it. And, its apparel is actually quiet widespread in China, who are actually very willing to spend money to buy Li-Ning products.

  • Papa Smurf

    Thanks for the NB info. I’d rather play in NB running shoes than the crap Nike’s been putting out lately. Anyone try on the Hyperfuse? Cheapest crap I’ve ever put on my feet.

  • Saku 39

    @Ronald You’re welcome. RE: Li-Ning, I’m not hoping or predicting their demise, but between them Peak and Anta, I don’t know if they all can survive. If one or all can establish themselves due to a quality product, well good for us.

  • KoBynum716

    He should’ve chose L.A. Gear, like big Luke Walton

  • Robb

    @papasmurf&J.jones thanks for the info!

  • http://www.centercourtbasketball.com CCB

    New Balance like K-Swiss are no longer in the basketball market, primarily because Nike so thoroughly dominates that a big marketing campaign would drain money from where they are already successful: K-Swiss (tennis) and NB (running). I like the idea of NBA guys trying different shoes. The idea that Nike is the only company that players don’t get hurt in is absurd or that wearing Pumas decreased VC’s longevity is really odd considering he won the slam dunk contest in those shoes and played some very good ball before wearing the old boings which is when he started getting injured. Right now the market is geared towards Nike like it was geared towards adidas in the 70′s and 80′s. Remember Jordan didn’t want to sign with Nike originally he wanted Adidas or Converse but not Nike. Anyway, Li Ning is Nike in China. Think about the Spain team was outfitted by the brand in the Olympics and I don’t think any got hurt (well maybe the stupid picture hurt some people but you get what I’m saying.) Sneakers are interesting, if barefoot running is proven to be better for your feet, wouldn’t in stand to reason that less is more and that nike and air is bad on your feet? That’s just a question. I just hope there is room for new companies.
    Chris B

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  • Hussman25

    @CCB: VC Actually won the Slam Dunk contest in And 1′s… Primarilly due to the shoe, thus his change from Puma to Nike. Just an FYI

  • Vera

    Li-Ning is a great brand in China.It seemed that the president of this company lit the Olympic torch in 2008.And there is no doubt that ET will have a bright future.