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What Broken Shoe? Nike Shares Rally, Brand Named Most Valuable After Zion Williamson Incident

What Broken Shoe? Nike Shares Rally, Brand Named Most Valuable After Zion Williamson Incident

Nike Inc (NYSE: NKE)'s Zion Williamson debacle sure blew over fast.

Just under two weeks after the exploding shoe incident, the company was named the most valuable apparel brand by Brand Finance and shares hit all-time high territory.

Although Williamson’s injury related to his Nike shoe failure may have blown over in the public’s mind, the incident will likely resurface when the expected top draft pick goes to sign an endorsement deal.

Nike's New Competition For Endorsements

Nike has long been seen as the frontrunner to sign Williamson come summertime, but some have seen this incident as giving him more leverage when it comes to contract negotiations, with the brand looking to avoid a PR mishap.

“Nike is required at this point to do whatever it takes to sign him in order to avoid what would be a much larger PR disaster from the company,” Darren Heitner, a sports attorney and founder of The Sports Biz, told Benzinga.

“There would be some damage to Nike’s reputation if he signed with a competitor."

A recent Twitter poll conducted by Benzinga shows the public still feels confident that Nike will sign Williamson despite increased competition for basketball endorsements, with Puma AG Rudolf Dassler Sport (OTC: PMMAF) and New Balance entering the market in the last year.

'A Non-Event'

Matt Powell of the NPD Group said that Williamson will sign with whichever company pays him the most money, and is adamant that this is a non-issue.

“This is an isolated incident, one that is not going to factor into Zion’s decision,” Powell told Benzinga.

“It’s certainly embarrassing, [but] in terms of it being material to the business of the company, it's a non-event.”

Nike shares closed up 1.9 percent at $87.16 Friday.

Related Links: 

Cowen: Puma's Q4 Strength Bodes Well For Nike, Adidas Earnings

Nike's 'Tanjun' Was The Bestselling Shoe Of 2018; Mid-Market Footwear Dominates Top 10

Photo credit: Keenan Hairston, Flickr


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