December 24, 2010: Nike is taking full advantage of the fact that two of its biggest endorsers — Kobe Bryant and LeBron James — will be on the same basketball court on Christmas Day in an NBA game being televised by ABC. The athletic shoe and sportswear company will have Bryant and James fitted in new hoops footwear, both of which will hit retail in time for post-Xmas shopping. In addition, a new shoe from Kevin Durant also will be unveiled on the court on Christmas during a home game against the Denver Nuggets, on ESPN.
When Bryant's Los Angeles Lakers and James' Miami Heat hit the court and national airwaves, Kobe will wearing the "Green Means Go" Nike Zoom Kobe VI, which was designed in green with red laces. The Nike Zoom Kobe VI launches in retail stores and online at Nikestore.com on Dec. 26, with customized versions will be available for sale at NikeID.com. MSRP: $130.
Meanwhile, James will support his LeBron 8 V/2 "Run on Red." The product drops on Dec. 26, with additional colors scheduled to hit launch at retail on Jan. 8, 2011. MSRP: $160.
Nike said that Bryant's performance basketball shoe "was inspired by Kobe’s on-court alter ego, the Black Mamba and draws its cues from the fearsome snake." The shoe weighs just 10.6 ounces (men’s US size 9) making it one of Nike’s lightest basketball shoes, according to the company. Also according to Nike, Kobe wanted his shoe to "provide a custom fit for the masses, [so] the Kobe VI features a dual density sockliner that molds to the shape of your foot as you wear the shoe."
The LeBron 8 V/2 is designed to be leaner and lighter, and to reflect LeBron’s "evolving physical condition as he goes into the critical second half of the season,} according to Nike. I weighs in a full 1 oz lighter than the first LeBron 8, and is the first Nike basketball shoe with an upper made entirely of Flywire technology with lightweight mesh in key areas, "delivering LeBron the support he needs to overcome his opponents."
Durant's "No Yield For Yellow" Zoom KD III has been incorporated with design elements that reflect his past, present and future in hoops. Five lightning bolts unite on the outsole to represent his team, the Oklahoma City Thunder. Piano keys near the heel and midfoot of the outsole represent Durant's love of music. And a BF62 pattern repeated throughout the outsole reflects the 62 points he scored during a 2008 summer league game with the Goodman League at Barry Farms Park in his hometown of Washington DC. MSRP: $88.
As part of the marketing support for the Zoom KD III, Durant oversaw via his Web site a promotion in which he gave away 35 Christmas prize packages that, included Skullcandy Headphones, Gatorade bottles and towels, his Zoom KD III signature shoes and NBA Jam games from EA Sports. At his Web site, Durant wrote, "I am going to give one of the packs to the first 20 fans around the country to tweet me photos of themselves holding two thumbs up in front of any of [the following] locations. Each location is limited to a maximum of three winners. When you tweet me your photos add the hashtag #KDChristmas and tell me which location you’re at. If you aren’t in one of these cities, no worries because I will have another contest for the final 15 packages." (Full details here.)
Include among the hints were:
1. This is the home to my favorite NFL team.
2. A statue of the greatest NBA player of all-time in front of the basketball arena in the Windy City.
3. I played all my home games here as a rookie in the NBA.
4. FEC . . . the place I played all my college home games.
5. Community Center [where] I worked on my game at as a kid.
6. I just played here last night. Some call it the “Mecca of Basketball” or the “World’s Most Famous Arena”.
7. I played my first All-Star game in this football stadium. Not a fan of the “Cowgirls” that play there though lol.
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