Over the past couple days this tweet has been going viral in every sense of the word within the sneaker community.
This whole thing has me feeling some sort of way about it, on one hand this would have been an unbelievable idea and it would have been lead by the late great Kobe Bryant who would have made this flourish. On the other hand I personally think that people need to relax with the takes, there has been people coming for Kobe on this one in the vain of “Kobe only looks out for himself”, “Self serving”, “Greedy” and honestly people need to dial back the ferocity. This is exactly what young athletes across the globe need, by the people for the people.
Looking at industries that have a strangle hold on their respective industry meaning that smaller companies stand literally zero chance and sneakers is one of them. There are a handful of independent sneakers brands but not at the level to be able to compete with the big dogs like Nike or Adidas because of their sheer size and cache. A sneaker company by the athletes for the athletes would be the perfect way to get a seat at the table in regards to the sneaker industry because of the names that would come along with a brand like the one Kobe was thinking about. A company that was more athlete centric would allow for greater creativity for the players involved and it would also give the athletes as a whole a much larger voice within the business world because sports don’t last forever.
Yeah it sounds easy just get these big name NBA players to sign with your brand while they are coming into the league and let the brand grow alongside them. The only issue with that is that like I already said sports will not last forever. When Nike or Adidas is able to offer a young athlete exponentially more money I would encourage that athlete to take that deal one hundred percent of the time because you need to get your money and protect your family first and for most and injuries could happen and change your entire life in just a matter of moments. That is the biggest barrier A company along those lines would face in its infancy unless someone was able to put up massive amounts of money and any venture capitalist or investor is going to laugh you right out of the dragons den when you say you are going to try and compete with a company such as Nike.
I would love for company like this to exist and thrive but it would have to be lead by someone with the money, connections and clout large enough to flip the industry on its head. The only athletes in the world that I could see being able to build a company and a brand like this would have been Kobe, Lebron (if he was not on a lifetime contract with Nike, talk about securing the bag) and possibly Cristiano Ronaldo who’s Nike contract details are not clear on the length of the contract. I wish I could stand on a soap box and beg pro athletes to band together and build something like this from the ground up but it is not realistic, a young guy coming out of college straight to the pro’s may feel invincible but they aren’t. Family over everything, protect yourself and protect your circle first and get that bag, maybe when guys like Luka and Ja Morant grow and mature into the athletes we believe they will be they can lead the charge but for now its just a pipe dream.