James Harden and ADIDAS

The National Basketball Association is a multi-billion dollar business that has a strong influence around the world. There is a lot of money to be made through basketball, weather it be vendors at the games, the ticket sales, the television rights, or the marketing of the players themselves, the league is a cash-cow. As the game of basketball has grown, so has the relationship between the players and various companies, to the point now where the best players are signing very lucrative contracts to become part of there company and part of there marketing plan. These companies (ADIDAS, Nike, Li-Ning) recognized the value of endorsing these athletes, and are now make millions selling signature clothing, signature shoes, and more using the brand that these basketball players built. Players like Lebron James and Kobe Bryant have signed contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars just to represent a specific company, and now the marketing department of these companies are looking for the next superstar to become the face of there brand.

James Harden is a 6'5 shooting guard has been in the NBA since 2009, and has grown to become a superstar player and face of his team, the Houston Rockets. Originally joining forces with Nike, Harden was able to grow his own personal brand/image by appearing in commercials and releasing signature gear for all the basketball fans around the world.

Harden's contract with Nike ended this past month, which gave him the freedom to choose which company he would want to team up with next. Harden is every marketing departments dream because he has already solidified himself as an elite player, but also his image (facial hair and competitiveness) is a cant miss for any company.


Harden's agenda for selecting his next endorser is quite interesting, being able to sit down with these massive companies and have them pitch him the marketing plans. Seeing the different financial projections, the different marketing strategies, the different product focuses, there are many different aspects that go into the decision making process.

Adidas recognized the goldmine that bringing Harden to their company would be and offered him a 13 year 200 million dollar deal to join forces, which he agreed to. Nike had a chance to match the contract offer in attempt to keep Harden part of the Nike family. Nike decided not to match Adidas' offer thinking that he would not be worth that much money to the company.

The NBA has turned into a cut-throat business and it is very interesting to see how different aspects of marketing affect the direction of the league. Who knows, soon athletes will be signing $500 million dollar endorsement deals, and it is intriguing to see how the players, the league, and the fans all handle this new channel of marketing.

The Game and his Marketing Strategy

It is interesting to see how much consumer behavior can affect the way that particular industries operate. The music industry, and more specifically hip-hop, has grown to become so competitive in the 21st century with major record labels and independent labels battling to gain fans and sell music. A lot of artists and musicians are forced to market their own music if they want to make sure people hear their music.

Much research is done within the business end of the hip-hop industry, whether it be when the most profitable time to release an album is or which media outlet will make the largest impact on their market. A good example of this type of research is the album (double album) The Documentary 2 by the California artist The Game.

He has set his album to release on October 16th, 2015. The Game and his business associates did not just pick October 16th out of thin air, rather they looked at different buying patterns within the US. They recognized the upcoming 2015 holiday season and how they want their album on the shelves for all the shoppers to purchase.

Considering The Game is already an opinion leader for both the hip-hop industry and young people alike, along with the anticipation of the album, he has the potential to sell a lot of units including merchandise as soon as the release. With the goal to reach as many people as possible, The Game was smart to make this album a double album rather than just 10-12 songs because with the larger amount content he is able to say more to his fans and build consumer retention, which is incredibly valuable in the music industry.

The Game uses different social media outlets, like Instagram and Twitter, to help promote his album and grow his fanbase even more. He also promotes the album’s merchendise like t-shirts and hats. A perk of marketing through social media is that it becomes an information source on the album, and the more times they post something the more word of mouth it creates.

Robin Hood Approach Towards Marketing

Robin Hood Approach to Marketing Using the Internet


In the 21st century, the internet is king. There is so much opportunity on the web. You can find almost anyone’s contact information, so if you wanted to inquire about a job opportunity, you have that unlimited freedom. It’s the perfect platform to get your name out there. You could make a website for yourself, acting as a resume/business card type entity, that people can can visit and check out your accomplishments and interests. This is so interesting to me because there are so many people out there that have used different web outlets to build there portfolio and to start their career.

This is new to us, it is something our parents did not have access to when they were growing up trying to find there way. All our generation needs to access these opportunities is a laptop. If a kid wants to create music, they could do that through the a simple computer program. If someone wanted to become a filmmaker, they could upload videos to YouTube for the world to see. If someone wanted to design a logo or some articles of clothing, they could, again, use a simple computer program to create their vision and upload their work to an online portfolio.         

Another common marketing tactic that has emerged in the 21st century has been to post your own advertisements (illegally) like stickers or posters around a high traffic area, that will in theory trigger interest in people to visit your website or an online profile of yours. I think this a cool and easy way to market yourself because it is sort of like a mystery. Chances are slim that anything will come from your ads, but who knows who is out there that might give you an opportunity to do something interesting, and the worst case scenario is that people will visit your site/profile (publicity is a good thing).

I am interested and motivated by to see in what ways the internet will continue change the way young people out there pursue their dreams. The doors that this giant web of information can open is like nothing we’ve seen before in history, and the fact that this technology is still so new, from my perspective, in regards to how much it will inevitably evolve, is really cool to think about. What an opportunity our generation has here to develop our individual situations, not to mention the generations to come. The Ted Talk by the woman from the show The Shark Tank explained how she found success by getting on the internet bandwagon so early, but again, I think right now is still “early” in terms of the internet revolution, and I feel like there are still plenty of those “Robin Hood”-esque moves that the internet can provide.