Kobe’s popularity may be unmatched globally, but domestically it seems that the sales of his latest signature kicks, the Kobe 8 System, finished second in league-wide sales behind LeBron James. According to Forbes, Bryant’s sales exceeded $50 million, but that wasn’t enough to topple James, who toppled the $300 million mark with his Nike shoes this past year.
The second best-selling active NBA pitchman is Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakers. His Kobe 8 signature shoes sold $50 million at U.S. stores last year. Bryant has been part of the Nike family since 2003. The 15-time All-Star was an Adidas athlete for the first six years of his career. Bryant’s shoe sales in the U.S. were down in 2012, but he is the NBA’s biggest star in China and his Nike sneakers sell briskly in Asia.
The obvious difference between James’ totals and Kobe’s is stark. But that could have a lot to do with the price of the shoes.
James’ signature kicks sold for upwards of $260, with the minimum price point around $180. This far exceeds Kobe’s, which sell for around $140 retail. So for each pair of LeBron shoes sold, Kobe has to sell two to match. Ultimately I doubt there’s a large competition between the two players over who sells more shoes, but the higher price point does have a large impact on the situation.
It’s almost like the movie Titanic, which was the highest grossing film of all time for over a decade. However, raised ticket prices and the incorporation of 3D showings, which could cost upwards of $15 per ticket, allowed Avatar to surpass it in total gross sales, but not in actual tickets sold.
The moral of the story here is that both Kobe and LeBron sold a lot of shoes in 2012. And that James Cameron has a lot of money.
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