By: Jonathan Barratt
If one investigates the top athlete of any sport, they are all names recognizable around the world. Michael Jordan, Rodger Federer, Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt, Shaun White, and all athletes that were so good that the cameras were always on them. They get so much attention and have become so influential that they are the perfect opportunity to use for advertising.
Specifically, in the NBA advertisers have taken full advantage of this. In the NBA they show the players walking down the tunnels in the arena or getting off the bus or plane a lot so there is a lot of time for them to be showing off a brand.
The bestbiggest example of this ever was with Lebron James. Lebron was getting off the plane in China for a USA basketball game and was wearing Beats by Dre headphones. They went mainstream overnight. Lebron simply wearing them made everyone in the world want a pair. Beats president Luke Woods to this day says Beats became Beats because of Lebron. The best part about it was this was a complete accident by Beats. They were simply focused on making the sound quality in the headphones the best at that point. They gave a pair to Lebron as a gift and next thing you know the brand went viral.
Through the exposure the NBA players get through walking into the arena is has started to become known as the concrete runway. NBA players used to show up the arena with baggy urban clothing on. Now they show up in designer looking dapper. Tyrod Taylor from the NFl said walking into the tunnel is the closet thing to a fashion show. You can show your sense of style and all the cameras are on you specifically. Advertisers have caught on to athletes love for fashion and all the exposure they get, and clothing brands are using them to show off their products.
Two very prominent players in the NBA today who are big into fashion are Russel Westbrook and Dwyane Wade. Westbrook is known for coming into the arena ins over the top designer out fits. Like his play on the court, he likes to work with the best of the best brands. Some of the brands Westbrook has worn are Del Toro, Want Les Essentials and Marcelo Burlon.
Dwayne Wade takes it even a step further. The brand Tie Bar let him become a designer. This allows him to be creative for them with out having to worry about manufacturing his own stuff. Finally, he has his own shoe line with the brand Li Ning in China that is one of the most popular basketball shoes in China.
Christine Flammia Christine Flammia writes about style. (2021, February 12). How the Nba’s Best-Dressed players turned the tunnel into a business. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.esquire.com/style/mens-fashion/a27760825/basketball-fashion-style-nba-business-concrete-runway/
From the court to the runway: How professional athletes are changing the fashion industry. (n.d.). Retrieved February 19, 2021, from http://alexiskmorgan.com/portfolio/athletes-fashion-industry/
Prewitt, A. (2019, July 22). How athletes have transformed the arena entrance. Retrieved February 19, 2021, from https://www.si.com/lifestyle/2019/07/22/athlete-fashion-pregrame-arena-tunnel-entrance-photograph-nba-nfl-nhl-style