Zion Williamson is the most talked about and most hyped player to come into the NBA since Lebron James. Lonzo Ball had some buzz, as did Blake Griffin and Andrew Wiggins, but nothing like with Williamson. Social media played a big part in his hype as his ridiculous high school highlights were being shown on ESPN since he was a Sophomore in high school. His Youtube highlight videos racked up millions of views and superstar rapper Drake said Zion was his favorite high school baller.
As Zion dominated and embarrassed everyone he matched up with in high school, haters came out in full force saying he could not do that in college, they were wrong. He went to college, playing in Nikes, dominated and won national player of the year. The fact that he was able to go to college and dominate has people drooling to see him play against pros. His first official game against NBA competition will come in October, the big question is, what shoe brand will he be wearing on opening night.
Who wants Zion Williamson?
Even though they all dream of Zion, only two really have a chance, Nike and Adidas. Zion has sported both brands in the past. Adidas was on his feet a ton in high school. When he was at Duke he worn Nike. In the one summer league game he played before exiting with a knee injury, he worn a pair of Nike Kyrie 4s.
What can each shoe company offer him
Nike and adidas have the advantage from a financial and historical standpoint, but in some cases he would be just another guy. They have so many guys and so many shoes everyone just blends in with those two companies.
A company like Under Armour could offer big bucks as well as stock or a percentage of the company, like they did with Steph Curry.
If Zion signed with Under Armour it would give him the chance to stand out more, because they don’t have many elite players as endorsers. Remember when Steph’s first Under Armour shoes came out they sold like water in the dessert, not just because of his name, but because it was a chance for people to wear something unique. You could go to a gym and see 50 guys playing in Jordans, Nikes or Adidas, but that one guy with the new Currys on is getting the most looks and compliments.
Companies like Reebok and Puma could give him the chance to revitalize their brands and take them to another level. Allen Iverson joined reebok in 1996 and his shoes were popular for years, specifically the Reebok Question. That shoe has been rereleased many times over the years.
Puma had Vince Carter in their pocket in the late 90s, but things went and Carter shifted over to Nike. Last year Puma threw money at a bunch of solid young NBA players including Marvin Bagley and Deandre Ayton to name a few. Those guys will be good pros, but their names won’t sell shoes. Finding a way to sign Zion could take Puma to another level in the basketball sneaker business.
Will Zion Williamson get a signature shoe?
Many guys in the NBA have shoe deals and they can get kicks customized and in they sizes and colors they want. Don’t confuse customization shoes with signature shoes. Only a small portion of NBA players actually have signature shoes. This might play a big factor in Zions deal. Will he get his own signature shoe and if so will it happen right way. The reason this could be a big deal is because he lacks NBA experience and him leapfrog guys that are experience don’t have a signature shoe could make brands like Nike and Adidas reluctant to give him a signature shoe right away.
When will he sign a shoe deal?
Many people are surprised he has no signed a deal yet, but he has a lot on his plate right now. He also has a lawsuit against him that he probably wants to get cleared up before he signs a shoe deal. Once that lawsuit is addressed I expect he will move forward quickly to sign a shoe deal.