For shoe companies, the NBA Draft is the next step in an ongoing relationship

The Fields of Green

(Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports) (Andrew Richardson-USA TODAY Sports)

The annual NBA Draft brings excitement and opportunity to aspiring professional basketball players throughout the world. Whether these players have taken the traditional collegiate route, like Duke’s Jabari Parker, or built their resumes overseas, like Australia’s Dante Exum, who signed a shoe deal with Adidas in the fall, each player’s on and off court professional brand will begin to take shape once his name has been called.

For corporations such as Nike, Adidas, Jordan and Under Armour, the draft is just another step in an ongoing competition to affiliate themselves with these burgeoning athlete brands.

While it’s the shoe companies’ first chance to begin building a relationship with each athlete and his new team, in many cases, the affiliation spans years prior to the beginning of the players’ professional careers.

AAU

A look at the 2012 draft shows that six of the top 10 picks…

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