The basketball superstar is fresh off leading the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 93-89 win over the Golden State Warriors in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, giving Cleveland its first major sports title since 1964. And people seem to really want to wear his latest Nike (NKE) - Get Report sneakers. "We are seeing incredible sell-through," Nike brand president Trevor Edwards said to analysts Tuesday about sales of LeBron Soldier 10.
Nike moved quickly to release the LeBron Soldier 10 sneakers that James began wearing in Game 4 of the Finals. The sneakers are black and gold (above) -- similar to the Cavaliers' uniforms -- and were made available starting June 21 for a limited time on Nike's custom shoe site, NIKEiD. Nike also said it's also seeing "strong" sales of Kyrie Irving's sneakers. Irving is James' teammate on the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The sneaker and apparel giant could use the boost to its signature basketball business from the high-profile win landed by James and Irving.
Sales of Nike footwear in North America rose a meager 2% during the fourth quarter ended May 31 from the prior year to $2.3 billion due to sluggish sales of basketball sneakers. The result marked a steep slowdown from the third quarter when U.S. footwear sales rose 16%.
For the fiscal year ended May 31, Nike's footwear sales increased 9%. Nike basketball sales -- which reflect sales of shoes endorsed by James, Irving and Kobe Bryant -- declined 1% for the year, and rose a sluggish 2% excluding the impact of the strong U.S. dollar for the year. On the other hand, sales for the Jordan brand increased on the year, or 21% excluding currency translation.
Shares of Nike closed Tuesday at $53.09, up 2.3%. They declined by about 3% in after-hours trading.