The Celtics VS Cavs game was probably one of the most anticipated games of the year. LeBron and Cleveland had just discarded more than half of their roster and added some very solid pieces to the team. Three of their best acquisitions were Jordan Clarkson who is a bona fide scorer- this kid can get you buckets. He isn’t afraid to attack the rim and does it with authority. Another key addition was Larry Nance Jr, an athletic big man who can give you second chance opportunities ( he is very active on the glass ). I would also mention George hill who can put the clamps on any guards in the league. He is more of a defensive guard than he is a scorer , exactly what Cleveland needed.
While most were being entertained by the game, certain ideas crossed my mind. I thought to myself- this is the perfect opportunity for Nike to breathe in some life into basketball again. These NBA theatricals are brewing and make up for great stories and narratives for Nike sneakers. The brand ought to go full force and take advantage of these types of games to unleash a fury of memorable sneakers. I’m not sure if Nike released another LeBron 15 PE but this was the perfect game for another surprise release. Westbrook, Kevin Durant, Paul George, Kyrie and Lebron are all Nike’s athletes playing on rival teams. Games such as OKC vs GSW, Celtics VS Cavs are the ones folks want to watch and Nike should tap into that.
NPD’s Matt Powell said last week in one of his many evasive tweets,
….Brands cannot force their will on the consumer? Consumer calls the the shots
I can agree to some extent with Powell that the market has now become a buyer’s market. But when it comes to basketball sneakers, Nike has an opportunity to regain some momentum and call the shots. Yesterday, the only thing trending on my Facebook news feed was the Boston-Cleveland game, which means that many people were watching it. Lebron James is still the best player in the NBA and right now his primary objective is to cement his legacy. Yesterday’s game was another defining moment in his career and in my opinion, Nike should create a Nike Basketball Lebron Legacy Collection for the four or five good years LJ has left in the league. As great as LJ is, he is always the underdog going into every playoff which makes for a great narrative for his signature shoes. Folks don’t really watch games void of superstars so if Nike wants to reach the consumer, it’s going to be by virtue of controversial games like the Boston/Cleveland game. I’m not sure what that’s going to look like but I believe Basketball has an opening and Nike can win big time with the right strategy.