Friday, July 29, 2005

[Kicks] Rookie Shoe Deals; lil' LeBron faded

Darren Rovell's Weblog (or, in case you are not an ESPN insider, check Niketalk) has the latest update of some of the shoe deals in the 05' rookie class.

Before the draft, Marvin Williams signed a Reebok deal, worth a 2005 draft-high $1 million per year. Other deals signed were Chris Paul/Nike ($600,000) and Rashad McCants/Nike ($400,000). Now the latest we're hearing is that adidas has signed UNC alum Raymond Felton and high schooler Martell Webster, who was picked by the Trail Blazers, for under $200,000 per year. While many guys are still up for grabs, no player has increased their stock better than New York Knicks small man Nate Robinson. The 5-foot-9 guard from the University of Washington has scored 17.8 points per game while averaging just 26.6 minutes. Those numbers plus the fact that he's playing in New York should allow him to earn more than $300,000 per year on a deal. An interesting new entrant in the NBA shoe endorsement biz is Pony. Sources tell that the retro brand has already signed Julius Hodge (No. 20, Denver) and is looking to get a few more names to bolster the company's efforts.

Also, the "Lil' LeBron", latest trying from Coca-Cola to bring attitude to Sprite, has already seen his appearance decreasing.

When LeBron James signed a deal with Coca-Cola to endorse Sprite, Coke's ad firm Oglivy & Mather created a sidekick for LeBron called Miles Thirst. The character looked exactly like Penny Hardaway's sidekick Lil' Penny. Well, according to Brandweek, Thirst's reign is nearing an end. The trade mag reports that Thirst will have a reduced role.

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