Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Is Dwayne unhappy with Converse?

Interesting article posted on sole collector:

words_Nick DePaula

Apparently money doesn’t solve everything, as there’s rumblings throughout the sneaker landscape that Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade is a little sour on his current deal with Converse, where he has been given an annual signature shoe, apparel line and casual shoe line. As it turns out, maybe that’s not enough?

If you recall, it was brilliant of Wade to leverage the tremendous success he had while leading the young Miami Heat during his first two years in the league. He was fresh off of taking the Heat to the 2nd round of the NBA Playoffs while wearing the Converse Icon Warrior, and he and his agent were able to actually restructure his original contract with Converse. Restructuring rarely happens in the world of endorsement deals, but they approached Converse with the threat that Wade would look elsewhere once his original contract expired. Converse had no other choice but to pull in their lawyers and strike a new deal. Marking quite a monetary leap from his original $400,000 yearly deal, the renegotiated sum netted Wade $10 Million annually, and is set to expire in 2012. In 2010, DWade might also be opting out of his Miami Heat maximum contract and looking for a new home, with early rumors leading to his childhood team in the Chicago Bulls or the bright lights of New York City where Mike D’Antoni coaches a style he’s in love with. (Little defense/major offense seems like an easy sell for the Knicks.)

The seven-year deal Wade signed in 2005, similar in value to the deals Nike’s Kevin Durant and Jordan Brand’s Carmelo Anthony recently signed over the past year, also included incentives on the sales of his casual clothing line. But, in a recent interview with reporter Ken Berger from Newsday, Wade seemed hardly excited about his current status as the face of Converse, as when asked if he liked his current shoe and pictured himself long-term with Converse, he simply said, “I’m under contract for another couple of years.”

After Nike bought Converse in July of 2003, just weeks after Dwyane Wade was drafted fifth overall in the NBA Draft, it appeared as though they would position him as the franchise player for Converse, with LeBron James leading the future of Nike Basketball and Carmelo Anthony doing so for Jordan Brand. If it turns out that Wade wants to bolt, where would he end up? Is he the right fit for Jordan Brand? Do you see him leaving for a Swoosh competitor like adidas or Reebok, or even entertaining the temptation of a Chinese footwear brand like Li Ning, where he had tremendous success in Beijing during the 2008 Olympics?

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