Thursday, May 19th, 2011 at 12:06 pm  |  10 responses

A LeBron Chip = $4 Billion In Sales For Nike

LeBron’s endorsers nervously watch the Playoffs.

by Chris O’Leary/@olearychris

After last night’s Miami win over the Bulls, LeBron James is now seven wins away from his first NBA title.

While LBJ wants the title to confirm to himself that he’s on top of basketball’s mountain, the business side of his empire seems to need the title just as desperately. A Bloomberg article suggests that LeBron winning a championship will give Nike a $4 billion boost in revenue from China.

With a 32-year-old Kobe Bryant having become a fixation for the Chinese sports market in recent years, the torch could be passed to LeBron should he, Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem — I mean, Chris Bosh — be able to bring the Larry O’Brien trophy back to Miami this year.

A number of people interviewed for the article, including Nike’s former China sports marketing director Terry Rhoads and Michael Jordan’s agent David Falk, said a championship would give LeBron the credibility to lift him into the global marketing realm that Kobe and MJ have hit in their careers.

John Huizinga, who is Yao Ming’s marketing agent and a professor of economics at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business, went as far as to say that only a championship would undo the PR damage of The Decision.

One eye-bulging snippet from the story:

“James earns about $30 million annually from endorsements with companies that include Nike, which counts China as its second-largest market behind the U.S.; McDonald’s Corp. (MCD), the world’s largest restaurant chain; and Coca-Cola Co. (KO), the world’s largest soft-drink maker.”

Check the story out. it’s an interesting read.

Hat tip to CK for finding the story.

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  • rob

    First, dudes paid….

  • http://pickandroll.tumblr.com/ airs

    “..and udonis haslem – i mean, chris bosh.”

  • Jono

    Chris Bosh gets so much sh*t I’m actually starting to feel sorry for him.

  • bouncyman

    don’t worry jono, bosh feels sorry enough for himself

  • O

    I predict Bosh gets traded before his contract is up. Bosh got skills, but with LeBron and Wade dominating the ball 21 out of the 24 seconds of each posession, how can he shine? He should’ve went to Chicago instead of Boozer, and done damage.

  • david stern

    wow that’s crazy..

  • http://thetroyblog.com Teddy-the-Bear

    Here’s a brilliant idea, Nike: Since you’re making all that dough from Chinese consumers, maybe you can pay your Chinese manufacturers more for their backbreaking labor? Isn’t that a crazy thought?

  • http://slamonline.com zoom

    ^^Co-sign Teddy. It’s also worth noting that the Chinese government makes it too easy for foreign businesses to take advantage of the labor force in their country. It’s an extremely complicated and interesting issue.

  • Thomas

    I work for a Nike subcontractor in Vietnam. And people often don’t know Vietnam produces 43% of Nike’s shoes, with China making 37%. And Nike don’t pay the shop floor employees, the subcontractors do. The Chinese workers got paid about 2~3 times more than the Vietnamese workers. Nike is actually a lot more generous than all the other shoe brands. The workers at Nike factories got treated a little better than at other places. But yeah, I agree Nike should pay everybody a little more…..:-)

  • Mike From Spain

    what would take Nike to double their Vietnamese workers’ wages? two dollars a day each? SMH… I still buy their kicks though, I don’t know what does that make me