Michael Beasley And The Question of Brand Loyalty
Liz Mullen of the SportsBusiness Journal is reporting that Michael Beasley, who was drafted second overall by the Miami Heat, has signed a deal with adidas. I'm not surprised about that.
What caught me completely off guard was the quote from Steven Reed, Beasley's business manager: "Mike has agreed enthusiastically to endorse adidas and wear the shoe as he has done his whole playing life."
Now that's just strange. There's no reason to pretend that Beasley has been loyal to adidas for eternity. We all know the money game and we don't expect athletes to be completely loyal their entire career before they sign an endorsement deal.
Hey, even Michael Jordan said he was upset adidas didn't offer him anything close to the Nike contract because it was his favorite shoe brand at the time.
And there's plenty of picture evidence that Beasley has worn more than adidas shoes. In fact, if you were to break down the times Beasley wore adidas shoes versus the times he wore Nike, Nike would come out on top. During March Madness, Beasley's highest exposure point in his collegiate career, he wore Jordan Aqua VIII's for games against Wisconsin and USC.
At his NBA rookie photo shoot and at a preseason game in July, Beasley wore Nike's Jordan XX3's (All-Star Titanium Stealth version). Because of this, Beasley's first cards have him wearing those shoes. And, as the folks at the great mag Sole Collectorhave pointed out Beasley wore a variety of different Nike shoes including Jordans, Zoom LeBron IV's and ID Zoom Flight Fives during his freshman year at Kansas State.
We don't expect complete brand loyalty. What we expect is loyalty after a deal is done. Beasley will obviously wear adidas on the court, but he shouldn't wear any Nikes with jeans off the court. You only deserve to get the paycheck if you are complete spokesman. That's what consumers want to hear.
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