发布日期：2018-03-20 浏览数：486 次
In 2012, the former Finals MVP and Chicago native was fresh off of his second NBA championship, but he was leaving the familiarity of Jordan Brand for a company nearly 8,000 miles away from Miami.
NBA stars such as Shaquille O'Neal and Kevin Garnett had signed on with Chinese brands in years prior, but toward the end of their careers and as big men, a group that has long struggled to captivate the American sneaker-buying market.
Never before had a superstar guard who still had a robust domestic sneaker market available to him made the move to a Chinese shoe at the height of his career.
It's a move that has made waves through the signature-sneaker industry in the years since, drawing the attention of young NBA players who are navigating their own endorsement deals and branding opportunities.
A year after Wade signed, Rajon Rondo agreed to a six-year deal with Anta, following in the footsteps of teammate Kevin Garnett, who landed with the company in 2010 after his Adidas deal was up.
CJ McCollum's rapid rise to stardom earned him a $106 million contract extension with the Portland Trail Blazers. The fifth-year guard also suddenly found himself among the most sought-after players by footwear brands this past summer, as his initial four-year sneaker deal with Nike was set to expire.
As McCollum was sorting through brand presentations and offers, he also did a healthy amount of his own research. He phoned up the former Miami Heat star and Finals MVP often over the summer, picking the brain of the 12-time All-Star about his experience with the brand, the performance of the sneakers and nuances about touring in China.
Throughout their conversations, Wade wooed McCollum with his confidence in the product, along with anecdotes about the level of service and attention he receives, and how that compares to his experiences with Jordan Brand.
"I was just getting an understanding of his overall experience with it," McCollum said. "He left at 29 when he went to Li-Ning. With me as a 26-year-old, our mindset and our approach to the situation is very similar."
McCollum also got advice from Blazers teammate Evan Turner, who has a long-term deal with Li-Ning and happens to sit directly next to McCollum in the Blazers' locker room.
"I just kept it real with him, what I liked about the brand and how I thought we could get better," Turner said. "As his star was rising, I told him I thought it'd be advantageous for him to partner with an up-and-coming brand."
When Golden State Warriors sharpshooter Klay Thompson received an offer from Anta the following summer, his agent at the time suggested he reach out to Rondo for feedback.
"Wait till you go out there," Rondo told Thompson. "They'll show you so much love."
"At first, you know, you're skeptical," Thompson said. "Then, you come over to China and you see it firsthand, how much these people love hoops."
"I knew with the other brands in the States, whether it was Nike or Adidas, it was going to be tough for me to get a signature shoe," Thompson said. "I knew with Anta, I would have so much input creatively. I was going to hopefully be the Michael Jordan one day of Anta."
Thompson saw that last summer as he celebrated his new extension with Anta with a five-city, seven-day tour of China."I can do a USA tour, whether it's Portland, Chicago or wherever, and I'm not getting these crowds,"
Thompson said. "But I'm taking a five-city tour in China and there's thousands of people waiting to see me, and I can't believe it. The hunger from these people just to see one of their favorite basketball players is so cool.