LeBron James's decision to take his talents to South Beach seemed to be a marketing disaster, in the short run at least. For a while, it seemed to be impossible to find a LeBron fan outside South Florida. Surprisingly, though, his latest namesake sneaker, Nike's LeBron 8, is selling just fine throughout the country.
"Matt Powell, analyst for SportsOneSource, a market retail tracking firm, said he spoke to three retailers who told him this was on pace to be their best-selling LeBron shoe yet," reports CNBC. "Powell also said that sales of NBA jerseys over the last four weeks are up more than 30 percent, thanks to people buying LeBron, Wade, and Bosh jerseys."
There is no sneaker-sales-tracking equivalent of the Billboard charts, but it seems that even in the short run, LeBron's shoe sales won't take a major hit.
The kicks are even selling in Ohio.
However, some retailers report that sales in their stores aren't great, but the overall picture isn't a disaster.
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The shoe also has other challenges to overcome besides the public persona of its namesake. They sell for a hefty $160 per pair and are much heavier than most other modern basketball shoes on the market.
Regardless of sales data at the moment, if James and the Heat win some championships, his shoe sales are expected to improve dramatically. Chatter indicates that once he heard Kobe Bryant's shoes sell better than his in China because of the Lakers' multiple championships, LeBron set out in the off-season to make sure he was in a position to win some rings.