LeBron James Sells the Most Sneakers in the NBA

by May 23, 2013

By a very considerable margin—try $250 million on for size—LeBron James’ Nikes are the most popular sneakers hawked by an active NBA player. Trailing LeBron in signature shoe sales are Kobe Bryant (Nike), Carmelo Anthony (Jordan), Kevin Durant (Nike), Derrick Rose (adidas), John Wall (Reebok) and Dwight Howard (adidas). Per Forbes, via SportsOneSource: “Nike generated $300 million in U.S. retail sales in 2012 for James’ signature shoes, according to research firm SportsOneSource. Nike’s haul represents a 50% increase from sales of James’ kicks in 2011. ‘The first thing is the aesthetics. The shoes look great and his star stature continues to rise,’ says SportsOneSource analyst Matt Powell. ‘The media attention on him helps him sell more footwear.’ The LeBron X caused a stir last summer when the Wall Street Journal reported that the shoes would be priced at more than $300. In reality, the base LeBron X shoe costs $180 and the technology-embedded shoe with Nike+ sensors, which tracks how high players jump and how far they run, is available for $260. […] The second best-selling active NBA pitchman is Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. His Kobe 8 signature shoes sold $50 million at U.S. stores last year. […] Today’s NBA stars are all still looking up at global icon Michael Jordan. The Nike-owned Jordan Brand has been on fire with $2 billion in U.S. sales in 2012, according to SportsOneSource. Susquehanna Financial analyst Christopher Svezia estimates the brand grew 25-30% globally in 2012. The royalty agreement is worth more than $60 million annually for Jordan, who last played an NBA game in 2003.”