August 23, 2010 BY John Kim
Evan Turner, the second overall draft pick of the 2010 NBA Draft, has signed an endorsement contract with Chinese athletic apparel label Li-Ning. It’s been quite a year for Li-Ning; it signed Baron Davis as an endorsee, opened its first retail store on American soil, and changed its brand logo over the course of a few months – and now it is adding Evan Turner, one of the top talents of this year’s NBA Draft Class, to its arsenal. Turner will be immediately appear in the brand’s marketing campaigns and will likely be the face of the basketball division of the company.
Evan Turner’s decision could be considered a suprising move; he was recently seen in the Nike Hyperfuse during the 2010 NBA Rookie Photo Shoot and his agent is David Falk, who is also Michael Jordan’s agent; one could have assumed Turner would join the Nike or possibly the Jordan Brand camp. In addition, many (if not all) of the endorsers of these Asian brands – Jason Kidd, Shaq, Shane Battier – are older veterans who can no longer find a place with the larger brands, but Turner’s decision could unfold to be a shrewd one because his youth has given him ‘go-to-guy’ status and a possibly heightened marketability potential in the eyes of other brands looking for young pro-athlete endorsees. Turner’s nickname in college was ‘The Villian’; could that be the nickname of his first signature shoe? Let us know what you think of Evan’s decision. via CNBC.