Thursday, September 12, 2013

Who Got Next? 3 Athletes Who Nike Should Give Signature Lines

Nike is always ahead of the curve. The Nike brain trust is always looking a decade ahead while everyone else is enjoying the present. Nike currently has a few signature athletes at the tail end of their careers in Kobe Bryant, Roger Federer, and Ken Griffey Jr. (Griffey has been retired since 2010, but Nike has continued his signature line). With this in mind, Nike has surely been considering new signature athletes going forward.

While I have no idea who Nike has in mind as their top brand ambassadors going forward, I have a few up and coming athletes in mind who could have successful signature lines if marketed correctly. Let's get into it:

1. Cleveland Cavaliers Guard, Kyrie Irving.

I could post endless Kyrie .gifs. Just google "Kyrie Irving gif" and flourish. Kyrie is one of the most electrifying talents in the NBA. He's probably the most obvious Nike athlete to get a signature shoe. Nike even gave him a Hyperdunk 2013 PE that dropped last month:

The only thing that could prevent Kyrie from reaching signature shoe levels is the fact that he has not been able to stay healthy for an entire season. Irving only played in 11 games in his lone season at Duke, then missed 15 of 66 games in his rookie year in Cleveland, and missed 23 of 82 games during his second season. That's a lot of games missed due to injury for a player that just turned 21this year. Thankfully none of Irving's injuries have been major, so a string of healthy seasons is not a stretch. If the Hyperdunk PE is any indication, Irving is a big part of Nike Basketball's plans going forward.

2. San Francisco 49ers Quarterback, Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick is a really interesting possibility when it comes to a signature line. Nike currently has two NFL signature athletes with Darelle Revis and Calvin Johnson. The odds that they add a third football sig are slim, but I believe Kaepernick has greater potential to move product than both Revis and Johnson. Nike had the perfect football signature athlete in Mike Vick until his dog fighting scandal ended his signature line. He was electrifying on the field, had street cred, charisma, and played Quarterback. Kaepernick offers all the same things. Nike could market the same kind of shoe with Kaepernick, only with more influence than they had with Vick because the Nike now holds the exclusive merchandise license of the NFL. If Kaepernick can keep the momentum of a Superbowl appearance going, a signature line may not be so far fetched.

3. Los Angeles Dodgers Outfielder, Yasiel Puig

Ken Griffey Jr. was the classic five tool player. He was an exceptional hitter who could hit for average as well as power. He was a great fielder, had a great arm, and speed on the base paths. Puig has all of these traits and plays the game with plenty of style. Puig has also been compared to another Nike signature athlete who was a terror on the diamond, Bo Jackson. Not much is known about 22 year old Puig's past. Puig attempted to escape Cuba eight different times and there are rumors that he was smuggled out of Cuba by a Mexican drug cartel. While I doubt the validity of that rumor, Puig's mysterious past could lend itself to an awesome viral Nike ad campaign. Think Bo Knows meets Most Interesting Man In The World. Shit would be dope. When you add in the fact that Puig plays in the second largest media market in the country, the move makes even more sense. The only downside is that Puig doesn't speak English yet. However, I could see the genius marketing machine over at Nike using that to their advantage. 

I look forward to what the future entails for the brand in Beaverton. New faces, new ads, but most of all new kicks. 

Let me know what you all think in the comments or hit me on twitter @juicemanji.

Thanks for reading, PEACE.


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