Switching Sides: When Athletes Change Sneaker Endorsements

Switching Sides: When Athletes Change Sneaker Endorsements


In what he says is an effort to pursue a global image, NBA star Dwayne Wade has left Converse and is moving forward with Jordan Brand, ending a relationship he's had since 2005. Good for him. Hopefully this means no more lame commercials and much better looking sneakers (no shots). Plus, it's still all Nike money at the end of the day. The announcement got the sneaker world buzzing this morning, but D-Wade isn't the first baller to shake things up on the endorsement side. Keep reading to check out eight more NBA players who switched sneaker companies...

kobe-shoes

PLAYER: Kobe Bryant
BRAND SWITCH: Adidas to Nike
• KB signed a six-year deal with Adidas in 1996 for roughly $48 million. He switched to Nike when his contract expired, and signed a five-year deal for $45 million. Not too much of a paper upgrade right? Wrong. Nike later gave Kobe a multi-year extension in 2007 for an undisclosed amount, which we can imagine was $$$$$$.

marbury-shoes

PLAYER: Stephon Marbury
BRAND SWITCH: And 1 to Starbury
• Steph inked with And 1 just days after the 1996 NBA Draft. "The Marbury" sold for a budget price of $70, something he would reinforce when he starting slinging his Starbury's for $15 a pop.

vc

PLAYER: Vince Carter
BRAND SWITCH: Puma to Nike
• VC signed a five-year deal with Puma before his rookie season, but ended the relationship in 2000, complaining that the shoes hurt his feet. Months later, Vince signed a multi-year $30 million contract with Nike, but half of that went to Puma for breach of contract. Since his "feet hurting" days, Carter has been rocking the superior-cushioned Nike Shox on court.

kg

PLAYER: Kevin Garnett
BRAND SWITCH: Nike to And 1 to Adidas
• Nike produced several sneakerhead favorites (the Flightposite) for Garnett before he left for And 1, a stint more known for its controversial interrogation commercial than the shoes. KG eventually signed a lifetime contract with Adidas in 2003.

duncan

PLAYER: Tim Duncan
BRAND SWITCH: Nike to Adidas
• After winning his first MVP and championship titles wearing Nikes, rival brand Adidas scooped up the "Big Fundamental" in 2003 when he signed a multi-year contract. Just like the athlete they signed, details of the deal were kept quiet.

webber

PLAYER: Chris Webber
BRAND SWITCH: Nike to Dada
• C-Webb's kicks with Nike were mid-'90s staples, but he moved on to Dada in 2002 when the company signed him as President of their new basketball division. It wasn't a smart move, as Webber went on to design terrible looking sneakers like the CDubbz pictured above.

bd

PLAYER: Baron Davis
BRAND SWITCH: Reebok to Li-Ning
• Just last year, B. Diddy left Reebok for Chinese footwear brand Li-Ning. Financial terms of the deal were not released, and to be honest, not many people gave a damn.

kidd

PLAYER: Jason Kidd
BRAND SWITCH: Nike to Peak
• After a longstanding relationship with Nike, dating back to his rookie year, Jason Kidd left the powerhouse and signed with Chinese brand Peak last summer before returning home from the Olympics. He signed for an undisclosed amount, but the same company is paying Shane Battier $4 million for three years, so figure a little more for the kidd.

Tags: converse, dwayne-wade, jordan-brand, nba, nike, shoes, sneakers
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