Matt Powell of SportsSourceOne is the man to go to when it comes to knowing the ins and outs of the sneaker industry, especially when it comes to sales numbers. We contacted Powell to get the numbers on the best-selling signature sneaker lines of 2013, and he was able to provide us with a look at how well some of the NBA's biggest names, both past and present, are performing when it comes to sneaker sales.
At the top of the list, of course, was Michael Jordan and his Jordan Brand. In 2013, Jordan Brand sold $2.25 billion—compared to $2 billion in 2012 and $1.8 billion in 2011. It looks like the Gamma XIs really paid off for Jordan. (Keep in mind that this figure also includes both Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul, signature-level All-Star athletes in their own right.)
Nike dropped two great signature sneakers for LeBron James in 2013: The LeBron X and LeBron XI. There were a few other LeBron sneakers available during the year, too: The Zoom Soldier VII, the LeBron X Elite, LeBron slides, and NSW LeBron X. This led to $300 million in sales for LeBron, but they didn't grow from 2012, when LeBron, once again, sold $300 million—which was up from $200 million in 2011.
Kevin Durant, percentage wise, saw the largest growth in his 2013 sales. Thanks to the expansion of stores that sold the KD V and KD VI compared to the KD IV, Durant pulled in $175 million in sales compared to a mere $35 million in 2012. Which, was up from $15 million in 2011. Will he actually catch LeBron in 2014?
With his die-hard following, Kobe Bryant is a huge player when it comes to signature sneakers. He essentially re-invented the low-top basketball sneaker. But, out all of the signature athletes, he's the steadiest. For the past three years, 2011-2013, he's raked in $50 million per year for Nike. Slow and steady, sometimes, wins the race.
Derrick Rose didn't play much in 2013, but it didn't affect his sales from 2012. His adidas sales in 2013 and 2012 both rang in at $40 million. Those numbers, however, were up from his sales of $30 million in 2011.