Stephen
Lebron

NBA Sneaker Deals: Real Vs Counterfeit

● Counterfeit sneaker market worth $1 billion ● Counterfeit sneaker market worth $1 billion ● Counterfeit sneaker market worth $1 billion ● Counterfeit sneaker market worth $1 billion ● Counterfeit sneaker market worth $1 billion ●

VIDEO:
NBA SNEAKER DEALS

VIDEO: NBA SNEAKER DEALS

Millions of NBA fans across the globe would love the chance to walk in the shoes of Michael Jordan, LeBron James, Kobe Bryant et al. Instead, they simply step into their favourite players’ signature sneakers.

The top NBA sneaker deals bring in big bucks for the game’s most famous faces, but the counterfeit market is also thriving. We’ve decided to dig a little deeper.

Basketball sneakers designed or donned by the sports’ top professionals have always been a big deal, with sports media even keeping a weekly watch of the fanciest footwear on display.

Just for kicks...

Featuring a glittering list of MVPs, the 14 top NBA sneaker deals illustrate the earning power of basketball’s biggest names. Unsurprisingly, the list includes the hall-of-famers you’d expect: Bryant, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry. A dream draft by any standard. The top two earners aren’t a shock either, with LeBron and MJ leading the pack.

Select Player
  • Mickael Jordan Sneaker
    Brand:
    Mickael Jordan Logo
    Player Michael Jordan
    Sneaker Deal $130M per year
    Original Counterfeit
    Manufacturing Cost $15 to $17 Manufacturing Cost $2 to $7
    Average Retail Price $250 to $550 Average Retail Price $80
  • LeBron James Sneaker
    Brand:
    Nike Logo
    Player LeBron James
    Sneaker Deal $32M per year
    Original Counterfeit
    Manufacturing Cost $22 to $34 Manufacturing Cost $2 to $7
    Average Retail Price $200 to $315 Average Retail Price $50
  • Kevin Durant Sneaker
    Brand:
    Nike Logo
    Player Kevin Durant
    Sneaker Deal $26M per year
    Original Counterfeit
    Manufacturing Cost $22 to $34 Manufacturing Cost $2 to $7
    Average Retail Price $88 to $200 Average Retail Price $18
  • Stephen Curry Sneaker
    Brand:
    Under Armour Logo
    Player Stephen Curry
    Sneaker Deal $20M per year
    Original Counterfeit
    Manufacturing Cost $15 to $17 Manufacturing Cost $2 to $7
    Average Retail Price $150 Average Retail Price $50
  • Kobe Bryant Sneaker
    Brand:
    Nike Logo
    Player Kobe Bryant
    Sneaker Deal $16M per year
    Original Counterfeit
    Manufacturing Cost $22 to $34 Manufacturing Cost $2 to $7
    Average Retail Price $160 Average Retail Price $50
  • Kobe Bryant Sneaker
    Brand:
    Adidas Logo
    Player James Harden
    Sneaker Deal $14M per year
    Original Counterfeit
    Manufacturing Cost $21 to $43 Manufacturing Cost $2 to $7
    Average Retail Price $130 Average Retail Price $33
  • Zion Williamson Sneaker
    Brand:
    Mickael Jordan Logo
    Player Zion Williamson
    Sneaker Deal $13M per year
    Original Counterfeit
    Manufacturing Cost $15 to $17 Manufacturing Cost $2 to $7
    Average Retail Price $110 Average Retail Price $52
  • Russell Westbrook Sneaker
    Brand:
    Mickael Jordan Logo
    Player Russell Westbrook
    Sneaker Deal $12M per year
    Original Counterfeit
    Manufacturing Cost $15 to $17 Manufacturing Cost $2 to $7
    Average Retail Price $85 to $125 Average Retail Price $47
  • Dwyane Wade Sneaker
    Brand:
    Li Ning Logo
    Player Dwyane Wade
    Sneaker Deal $12M per year
    Original Counterfeit
    Manufacturing Cost $15 to $17 Manufacturing Cost $2 to $7
    Average Retail Price $90 to $120 Average Retail Price $54
  • Derrick Rose Sneaker
    Brand:
    Adidas Logo
    Player Derrick Rose
    Sneaker Deal $11M per year
    Original Counterfeit
    Manufacturing Cost $21 to $43 Manufacturing Cost $2 to $7
    Average Retail Price $140 Average Retail Price $43
  • Kyrie Irving Sneaker
    Brand:
    Nike Logo
    Player Kyrie Irving
    Sneaker Deal $11M per year
    Original Counterfeit
    Manufacturing Cost $22 to $34 Manufacturing Cost $2 to $7
    Average Retail Price $80 to $160 Average Retail Price $45
  • Giannis Antetokounmpo Sneaker
    Brand:
    Nike Logo
    Player Giannis Antetokounmpo
    Sneaker Deal $10M per year
    Original Counterfeit
    Manufacturing Cost $22 to $34 Manufacturing Cost $2 to $7
    Average Retail Price $120 Average Retail Price $53
  • Damian Lillard Sneaker
    Brand:
    Adidas Logo
    Player Damian Lillard
    Sneaker Deal $10M per year
    Original Counterfeit
    Manufacturing Cost $21 to $43 Manufacturing Cost $2 to $7
    Average Retail Price $105 to $125 Average Retail Price $32 to $55
  • Klay Thompson Sneaker
    Brand:
    Anta Logo
    Player Klay Thompson
    Sneaker Deal $9M per year
    Original Counterfeit
    Manufacturing Cost $15 to $17 Manufacturing Cost $2 to $7
    Average Retail Price $180 to $350 Average Retail Price $42

Jordan is miles ahead, scoring an eye-watering $130 million-worth in sneaker deals. Considering the former Chicago Bulls shooting guard was the first NBA star to pen a playing contract worth over $20 million, and also reportedly holds the record for highest earnings — $33,140,000 — for a one-year contract, that’s quite the slam dunk for his bank balance.

But MJ isn’t alone in netting huge sums, LeBron brings in a whopping $32 million in sneaker deals. According to Forbes, King James tops 2019’s rich list of active NBA players, bagging $92 million salary and endorsements.

With sneaker deals worth so much, it’s no wonder the market is mirrored by an extremely lucrative counterfeit one. At last valuation in 2016, the real NBA sneaker market was rated at $55 billion, with current estimates around $75 billion. The total counterfeit market is believed to be worth $1 billion — a drop in the ocean by comparison.

However, imitations can cut into brands’ slice of the pie significantly and result in potential brand dilution. One notable example is an Air Jordan counterfeit ring, shut down in 2018, which was said to be worth $73 million dollars.

It’s not hard to see the imitation appeal, as they cost around $2 to $7 to manufacture. This results in some Nike counterfeits selling for $50, despite a real market value of $200 to $315.

Conclusion

As long as fake goods keep passing such substantial price cuts on to the consumer, with Jordan and LeBron imitations selling for around $80 and $50 respectively, the illegal counterfeiting culture surrounding NBA sneakers looks set to continue.

But, the bounce from real basketball shoes doesn’t look like slowing any time soon either, and there are predictions the market will be a $95.14 billion dollar industry by 2025. This has to be welcome news for NBA superstars and brands, whose footwear can sell for over 10 times the manufacturing costs.

Those astronomical earnings will surely be boosted further by a recent change in NBA rules to allow players to wear sneakers of any color. With stars able to express themselves more on the floor, things could be about to get brighter…