Zion Williamson's Jordan Brand Deal Won't Impact the Sneaker Industry, According to Analyst
NBA #1 Draft Pick Zion Williamson’s lucrative deal with Jordan Brand has sent reverberations across the sporting globe. Understandably, sneakerheads were also pretty hyped on the news, but not everyone is sharing the same excitement, including leading sports business analyst Matt Powell.
‘I am getting asked a lot [about] the Jordan/Zion deal. I do not expect the Jordan Brand signing of basketball standout, Zion Williamson, to have a material impact on the sneaker business for several reasons,’ Powell stated in a recent Tweet.
Laying out his reason for all to see, Powell addressed his claims with seven points:
1st, basketball shoes have been out-of-fashion for 4 years. There is no sign that the basketball category will be coming back into fashion any time soon; the fashion headwinds are simply blowing in the wrong direction, and basketball shoes are becoming a marginal category.— Matt Powell (@NPDMattPowell) July 30, 2019
2nd Jordan Brand has struggled to find a commercially viable performance shoe. After the oversupply of retro Jordans crashed the market in 2016 and 2017, performance Jordan footwear shrank dramatically. Jordan is in 3rd place in performance basketball footwear behind UA— Matt Powell (@NPDMattPowell) July 30, 2019
3rd, not all first-round picks work out. Remember Markelle Fultz? Many analysts and fans were critical of Williamson’s play during the NBA Summer League. Of course, we wish him well, but not every player seamlessly makes the transition to the big leagues.— Matt Powell (@NPDMattPowell) July 30, 2019
4th Third, big men have never sold a lot of shoes. Because of their size, shoes for big men tend to be heavy and clunky – the opposite of what today’s consumer wants. The average 12-year-old playing basketball in their driveway cannot dream of doing the things that Zion has done— Matt Powell (@NPDMattPowell) July 30, 2019
5th Fourth, it takes time for player’s shoes to catch on. The first truly successful LeBron was LeBron 6. For Durant, it was KD5. There is never a guarantee that the hot new player’s shoes are going to be an overnight success.— Matt Powell (@NPDMattPowell) July 30, 2019
6th Jordan Brand made no announcement about a signature shoe for Zion. If they do, we won’t see that shoe for some time due to development and production realities— Matt Powell (@NPDMattPowell) July 30, 2019
7th NOLA is a great town but is is hardly a basketball hotbed. Marquee players in small markets have struggled to move a lot of shoes— Matt Powell (@NPDMattPowell) July 30, 2019
It's not a prospective forecast for the Jordan Brand, but we're gonna wait and see how Zion goes on the hardwood before we make any judgements.