Nike became the official supplier of NBA uniforms this season, having agreed to pay $1 billion over the next 8 years for the right to place their company logo on team jerseys, shorts and socks; but the partnership has gotten off to a rocky start. The new jerseys have been tearing and stars Steph Curry and James Harden, who represent competing sneaker companies, have gone out their way to avoid having the Nike logo visible near their shoes; rolling or cutting down their socks to protect their lucrative endorsement contracts. Unfortunately for Nike, nothing in the NBA’s operations manual prohibits a player from wearing team issued socks as they please.
Howie Long-Short: While Nike (NKE) can’t be pleased, they signed this deal to put their swoosh on jerseys; not socks. Adidas was the league’s previous official uniform supplier and their contract didn’t even include socks (Stance was the league’s supplier during the ’16 season). ADDYY held their earning call on Thursday and while the news was overwhelmingly positive, the company did note that the loss of the NBA jersey contract has hurt basketball revenue sales. In this case, their loss is NKE’s gain.
Fan Marino: Want to get a good look at Curry’s (or Harden’s) newest player exclusive? Strap on your Samsung GearVR or Google Daydream headset and pull up a courtside seat to the game. Intel (INTC) has announced a partnership with Turner Sports (TWX) that will enable the company to broadcast select NBA on TNT games using TrueVR technology; beginning with the 2018 All-Star game. Users will be able to choose their camera angle (including courtside) and freeze and watch highlights in 360 degrees.
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