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It’s gotta be the shoes! NBA lockout hurts shoe companies, too

Oct 31, 2011, 12:02 PM EDT

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Adidas has Derrick Rose as a matador. Nike is spotlighting that “basketball never sleeps.” They are both still marketing like there is no tomorrow.

But while basketball may never sleep, the NBA is taking a nap right now. And that lockout could hurt major NBA shoe companies to the tune of $500 million if the lockout drags out for a full season, reports the USA Today.

Basketball shoe marketers such as Adidas, Nike and UA, and national retailers such as Foot Locker, could lose up to $500 million in sales if the 2011-12 NBA season is wiped out, says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst at the worldwide market research company NPD Group. That’s roughly 25% of the $2 billion basketball sneaker market, Cohen said.

About 33% of all basketball shoes are purchased to play basketball, Cohen said. That leaves 67% of the sales from consumers going for the association with an endorser such as Nike’s LeBron James— or with the NBA itself, Cohen said.

“The impact would be huge,” he said. ” Out of sight, out of mind. 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.”

The Jordan Brand, which still dominates the basketball shoe market, will be hurt but ultimately will be fine. However Adidas and Under Armour could feel the pinch more as they try to carve into Nike’s dominance and now have less of a platform to get their message out.

Frankly, everyone would just be better off if the two sides would solve the lockout. But we’ve known that for months and yet here we are.

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