The NBA star is helping YouTube bolster its sports programming with more athlete channels. pic via Fortune
Last year I touted KD’s move to YouTube as having the potential to improve the sell through of his Signature model with Nike. I was wrong. I acknowledged why I was wrong in several posts after that. I wrote this post:
In it I made this statement, “The player/athlete, endorser’s life is more important than ever. To sell basketball kicks, we are going to need access to the world of the athlete, not just the game.” I wrote that sentence in March. In April KD started his YouTube channel and I thought it was a smart move. I said this, “The market will have to begin to see the way these guys roll off the court. As we begin to see Kevin Durant the person, businessman and off the court player, his footwear sales will improve because there will be an emotional element.”
I was wrong.
Technically, I was right, but what I failed to add to the conversation was this, and I even wrote about it:
“Nike’s signings aren’t bad and adidas and Under Armour need athletes committed to their products. It definitely helps with exposure, but as competitive sports give way to eSports, Ninja Warrior, parkour and more social activities that aren’t related to participating in school athletics, it will be the NBA and NCAA’s responsibility to reach the viewers where they are if the sports companies want to capitalize off of the images of amazing athletes wearing performance gear.”
Kevin Durant’s next venture with YouTube seems to have a natural connection and benefit for Nike. Unfortunately athlete’s business ventures are for their own improvement. There is no longer a residual or additional benefit for the brand.
It has to be the brand that creates the narrative around the athlete and not in reverse.