The Top Clothing Brands In the NBA
MicPORTLAND, OR--- Just a couple of weeks ago, Chinese brand Li-Ning and their top client, Dwayne Wade, announced that they had reached an endorsement deal with Golden State Warriors guard D'Angelo Russell.
One of the major differences between sports in the past and the present is branding. Ever since the mid-20th century, businesses have been clamoring to get endorsement rights over the best athletes. Although you may not know it, that Maryland Terrapins jersey you bought was really Under Armour, and your new Lebron's were made by Nike. Between colleges, players, and even leagues, there is lots of competition between brands to get basketball players to wear their gear. So, what brands are ahead of the pack at the moment? Here are the top 5 clothing brands in the sports market at the moment.
5. Tie between Puma and Anta
This one was close, as both brands don't have enough talent to compete with brands that will be mentioned later, but easily trump smaller brands like Li-Ning, Asics, and Reebok. Puma has less star power, with only one All-Star in Demarcus Cousins, but has many more good players such as DeAndre Ayton, Marvin Bagley, Kyle Kuzma, and Terry Rozier. Anta, on the other hand, has less players, but all of their players have made at least one All-Star game. The Anti athletes are Gordon Hayward , Rajon Rondo, and most notably Klay Thompson. I want to give Anta the nudge here for having a superstar like Klay, but I have to leave this as an unsatisfying tie.
4. Under Armour
Between the final four brands, Under Armour is most visibly the weakest, despite having two superstars in Steph Curry and Joel Embiid, as well as other players like Mo Bamba, Seth Curry, and Dennis Smith Jr. Under Armour also has the second largest following of colleges, such as Navy, Auburn, Wisconsin, Notre Dame, and owner Kevin Plank's alma mater, Maryland. But, because of their lack of legitimate players, Under Armour falls to four.
Adidas brings sponsorships to a whole new level. The company sponsors many top colleges, such as Indiana, Miami (FL), Arizona St., North Carolina St., and Kansas. In addition, the brand sponsors many superstar NBA players like Damian Lillard, Trae Young, and John Wall, along with many good players like Zach Lavine, John Collins, and Kristaps Porzingis. Adidas also has a partnership with Reebok, so they get players and money from them too.
2. Air Jordan
Founded by NBA legend Michael Jordan, Air Jordan is the only brand besides one that will be discussed later to be the sponsor of an NBA team. The brand is the sponsor of the Charlotte Hornets, also owned by Michael Jordan. The brand is only even the partial sponsor of four colleges, but all four (Michigan, Oklahoma, Florida, and North Carolina) are blue blood programs. In addition, Air Jordan's NBA talent is elite too, with multi-time All-Star players like Jimmy Butler, Blake Griffin, Chris Paul, LaMarcus Aldridge, and Russell Westbrook, to name a few. However, Air Jordan is not even close to number one.
When you are the sponsor of 29/30 NBA teams, you have to be number one. In addition, Nike sponsors colleges like Duke, Virginia, UConn, Michigan St., and Arizona, just to name some of the many programs sponsored by Nike. Also, Nike has inked superstars like Giannis Antetokounmpo, Paul George, Kevin Durant, and some player named Lebron James! This doesn't even include All-Stars like Bradley Beal, Ben Simmons and Draymond Green (and more)!Nike also had deals with legends like Kobe Bryant and Dirk Nowitzki. This is why there are so many Nike shoes on courts across the nation.