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Houston Rockets: Dwight Howard Joins NBA Trend To Sign With Non-Nike Brand

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After spending his entire career with Adidas, Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard has moved on to China based Peak as his newest shoe endorsement. Dwight Howard made his move official after he showed up to his youth camp this weekend wearing Peak shoes instead of Adidas.

Howard told Fox 26 in Houston “he is blessed and excited about his new deal.” As Howard starts a new endorsement, he becomes the latest NBA player to sign with Peak.

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As per the Fox 26 interview Howard was quoted as saying:

I’m very blessed to be with the company Peak,” Howard said on Saturday. “A lot of people ask me why I left Adidas. I had a great run with Adidas. Peak is an up and coming company and we’re really looking forward to helping them grow in the States.

Currently, Peak has developed a great NBA Roster that includes San Antonio SpursTony Parker and Indiana PacersGeorge Hill. Howard is their biggest attraction, but he is not the first NBA star to leave a top-tier corporation for a Chinese shoe company.

In 2012, Miami Heat’s star Dwyane Wade left Nike’s Jordan Brand and signed with Li Ning. Although they offered him millions of dollars, Wade said the move to Li Ning was not for the money, but to be a part of a global brand that continues to grow. Since the signing of Wade, Li Ning has also added Klay Thompson and Evan Turner to increase their marketing brand share.

As both Li Ning and Peak continues to add NBA stars to their roster, there might be a game changer in the league’s top shoe endorsements.

Thanks to NBA stars LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant Nike is still a considerable empire on the league’s shoe market. However, they have missed out on signing the next wave of stars in the league. This past season Under Armour experienced a 20 percent growth on sales thanks to MVP and NBA champion Stephen Curry.

Nike’s biggest competitor for years Adidas, practically stole Rockets’ guard James Harden away with a 13-year $200 million deal this past summer. Harden’s deal with Adidas give them an even stronger roster that already included Damian Lillard, John Wall, and Derrick Rose. Oh and let’s not forget they also have Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins from the Minnesota Timberwolves. “The NBA’s next breakout star.”

Next: The Curious Shoe Case of James Harden

If this trend continues with Nike continuing to miss out on signing star talent inevitably it will affect their market share and potentially lead to another brand overtaking them.

If you don’t think that’s possible remember it was Nike who overtook Converse. During the 1980s Converse was the NBA’s number one shoe corporation as their endorsers included Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, and Isiah Thomas. However, once rising stars like Charles Barkley, Penny Hardaway, and of course Michael Jordan signed with Nike, Converse fell as the league’s top shoe endorsement.

It’s going to take some time before Peak can compete with any of the top-tier shoe companies in the league, but signing Dwight Howard is a great start to become their own empire.

Next: Harden Benefits Adidas Even Wearing Other Brands

Next: Is Howard Over Rated?

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