Nike's Converse division lost Dwayne Wade in a huge win for Chinese footwear brand Li Ning.
An important distinction is that if Nike really wanted to keep Wade, it would have kept him. They have the deepest pockets.
But this one is really surprising. Wade is what's known as a 'crossover athlete' in that he can be on the cover of GQ and SI in the same month. He appeals to most target groups -- white, black, hispanic, tall, and short (height is a factor in endorsements).
Our sense is that he wasnt getting the love he wanted at Converse, which is a division that Nike lets operate on its own. It does not have access to all the same technology as Nike or Jordan. That could have changed for Wade, but Li Ning likely came on too hard and heavy for Nike to react.
It's a tough loss. Hey, at least they've still got LeBron and Bosch.