Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Kobe, Durant, Nike--And More Food For Thought


The Shoe Doesn’t Fit For That Much:

Kobe Bryant

Yesterday, Chip Brown of the Dallas Morning News wrote these words: “Word is Kobe Bryant has already called Kevin Durant on behalf of Nike  and that a shoe deal ranging between $30 million and $50 million simply needs to be presented.” Now I know that the Texas freshman basketball player is a star and he very well might be the No. 1 pick in the NBA Draft. But when I saw the report of those numbers, I thought no way. Let’s review. Although LeBron James got a seven-year deal and Carmelo Anthony got a six-year deal, Nike typically offers the prime rookies three- to five-year deals. If Durant made even $30 million and let’s give him a five-year deal, that would be $6 million a year. I say there’s no chance he’s even making this when Bryant himself makes about $8 million a year from Nike and Anthony, whose Jordan brand shoes are plenty popular, is only pulling in $3 million. My prediction? Durant gets a deal worth $2.8 million a year. By the way, Bryant is even denying that he contacted Durant.

Nike Signs NFL Draft Picks:
Nike actually did sign some players whose names will be called in next month’s NFL Draft.

The Shoe Doesn’t Fit For That Much:

Yesterday, Nike brought together an all-star collection of college football players at Disney’s Wide World of Sports in Orlando for an ad shoot. We’re told the theme is “Work Like A Rookie,” and will feature players training in Nike Pro compression and the newest football cleats.

Taking part in the commercial are their newly signed endorsers: JaMarcus Russell (LSU), Calvin Johnson (Georgia Tech), Marshawn Lynch (California), Amobi Okoye (Louisville), Adrian Peterson (Oklahoma), Leon Hall (Michigan), Gaines Adams (Clemson), and Greg Olsen (Miami). Nike will shoot Brady Quinn on Friday due to a scheduling conflict. The print ad featuring these athletes will appear in major sports publications and on billboard at 34th and 7th in New York City beginning in early April. The company - whose stock is flying high -- reports today after the bell.

More Food:

Maximilian Stock Ltd. | Photographer's Choice | Getty Images

While the Gateway Grizzlies give us fried cheeseburgers, the folks at Aramark   have announced that it converted to a zero grams trans fat fryer oil to make the food at its stadiums around the country. Here’s a sampling of some of the new menu items Aramark is debuting this year. Fenway Park, thanks I’m sure to Dice-K, will have sushi for the first time this year. Phillies fans can enjoy Chipotle Chicken Pizza and Veggie Steaks (don’t ask me to describe it, I’m scared). And Astros fans will now have, and this is straight from the Aramark people, “Beef and Chicken Fajitas with Handmade Tortillas.” Not sure if the handmade part makes it more or less appealing!

Tony Stewart, Your 2008 NASCAR Nextel Cup Champ:
Electronic Arts    is announcing today that Tony Stewart will appear on the cover of NASCAR ’08. Now unlike the Madden Curse, which tends to cripple athletes who are on the cover of that game, Stewart has won in the year after he appeared on the cover - twice. He was on the 2001 game and the 2004 game and won in 2002 and 2005.

Watch Out, Todd McFarlane:
I’ve loved the work that Todd McFarlane’s people have done with their sports figurines in recent years and there hasn’t been any competitor that has tried to touch him. Until now. Last year, Upper Deck started making these vinyl figures with the LeBron commercial characters and on March 27, they are debuting a home and away Sidney Crosby 11-inch figure. Limited to 2,000 total figurines, it will go on sale at 11:07 am ET on  www.allstarvinyl.comand will sell for $49.95 each.

Questions?  Comments?