Not even Kobe Bryant comes close to the King.
As we’ve written before, most NBA players enjoy some type of shoe deal. However, it’s the select few that land signature sneakers who really rake in the big bucks. But are all signature sneakers created equal? KicksUSA did an in-depth analysis of sneaker sales for a few top NBA players in the NBA with their own signature sneaker lines, and found some interesting results.
It’s immediately clear that LeBron James moves considerably more product than anyone else. Nike sold almost two times as many pairs of LeBron sneakers in 2015 than Kevin Durant, who sold the second most sneakers. Kobe Bryant and Kyrie Irving sit at a distant third and fourth place on the sales charts, with only 10% and 9% of LeBron’s totals respectively. These numbers are most surprising for Kobe Bryant, who is probably the most popular active NBA player in the world.
Kobe Bryant’s injury-riddled time on the Lakers the last two seasons may have something to do with it. As it turns out, injuries can also adversely affect a player’s sneaker sales, at least according to the numbers. Kevin Durant, Kobe Bryant and Kyrie Irving all saw precipitous drop offs in their sneaker sales after the each suffered extended injuries. Losing over half of your sales in a month is no joke.
We’ll see if Stephen Curry’s budding Under Armour line can dethrone the King, but it’s also important to remember the best selling basketball sneaker doesn’t belong to an active player. Michael Jordan’s Jordan Brand has consistently sold more than any other signature sneaker, and we don’t see that changing anytime soon.
Note that this is not total data, but a sampling of retailers meant to be indicative of general buying patterns. You can check out the whole analysis over at KicksUSA.