January 3rd, 2017 by Patrick Johnson
Is 2017 going to be a bounce-back year for Nike Basketball signature models? Over the past few years, we’ve seen a shift from must-have current signature models in the basketball category to a lifestyle focus on retro installments from Nike Sportswear and Jordan Brand, and the crossover comfort of performance running silhouettes. The result of this shift is less-than-stellar numbers for the once-dominant Basketball category. That being said, Nike is making a push to have their latest signature offerings in the Nike Kyrie 3 and Nike LeBron 14 be more readily accessible both on and off the court with price drops, uniquely minimalist designs, and a focus on creative colorways that will attract a younger audience – especially with Kyrie Irving’s third model.
Above: The LeBron 14 and Kyrie 3 (via Kyrie Irving‘s Instagram)
Nike reported a better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit that hinted toward a rebound in its basketball category before the end of last year. “We’re seeing incredible momentum in basketball, to be clear, basketball is back,” Trevor Edwards, president of Nike Brand, said on a conference call with Reuters.com in late-December. So what does that mean, exactly? Nike expects its basketball category to continue to grow in the back half of its year ending May 2017 spearheaded by the introduction of the Kyrie 3 and LeBron 14.
In year’s past, Under Armour’s basketball imprint challenged Nike with the signing of Steph Curry, but the newness of UA’s Curry lineup has lost some of its luster. Under Armour lost almost $600 million of its value back in November 2016 in part because the Curry 3 wasn’t selling as well as the brand had initially expected. ESPN Senior Writer Darren Rovell reported that Foot Locker CEO Dick Johnson said the UA Curry 3 “started off a bit slower than the previous models.”