The negative effects of the lockout have already crossed over into the economy with hundreds of NBA workers losing their jobs. With the holidays fast approaching, it looks like retail sales are going to be suffering as well, most of all, shoes.
In an interview done with USA Today, industry analyst Marshal Cohen says the big shoe marketers could lose up to $500 million if this season isn’t played.
“Out of sight, out of mind,” says Cohen. “If the players are not on the court, and the kids aren’t thinking about them, they’re not going out and getting their shoes.”
I’m sure that’s absolutely true. Basketball shoe sales are all about kids wanting to be like their favorite players. They see LeBron James on the floor in his brand new kicks and they want to rush out and get them that day, much to the chagrin of parents who have to drop $150 dollars or more.
But without the players on the floor, no one sees their new shoes. If you work at Foot Locker, you can’t just tell a kid “Dirk Nowitzki is wearing these right now.” The kids have to see it for themselves.
I imagine this will reach farther than shoes too. Who wants to go out and buy a brand new Kevin Durant Thunder jersey if Durant won’t be wearing one himself? The NBA merchandise market is clearly going to continue to dive until a deal is worked out.
Nike is trying to fight this. If you watched the Sunday night football game you probably saw their new ad campaign, “Basketball Never Stops.” Which is true, but I still don’t think it will put the big name shoes on the feet of a middle school basketball player.
It seems like the wreckage of this lockout is never-ending. Sure, it’s a little difficult to feel bad for the shoe retailers when they’ll still make hundreds of millions of dollars this year. But even though the hit can be absorbed at the top, it still trickles down and means people losing their jobs. I’m tired of writing about the negative, it’s definitely time to get a deal done.