Nike joins the basketball team

The attraction of basketball as a marketing vehicle in Canada's largest market continues unabated.The latest company to use hoops is Nike Canada, with its limited edition Air Strong basketball shoes for Canada's men's team at the World Basketball Championships.Stan Wong, sports...

The attraction of basketball as a marketing vehicle in Canada’s largest market continues unabated.

The latest company to use hoops is Nike Canada, with its limited edition Air Strong basketball shoes for Canada’s men’s team at the World Basketball Championships.

Stan Wong, sports marketing and advertising manager for Nike, says the company always seeks to exploit new new athletic colors or logos and the limited edition shoes are another example of this strategy.

The Air Strong shoes are red and white and feature Basketball Canada’s new logo on the top of the shoe tongues.

The logo is a basketball against a maple leaf background with Canada written underneath it.

Wong says the limited edition shoes are a first in Canada for a specific event.

He says Nike intends to offer 300 pairs of the shoes to the Toronto public – at $150 a pair – through the Foot Locker athletic shoes chain.

Sandy Gage, marketing and communications co-ordinator at Basketball Canada, says the Air Strong shoe deal is a trade-off.

Gage says the men’s team gets footwear and Nike, official shoe supplier to the Canadian men’s basketball team, gets exposure.

The basketball championships run Aug. 4-14 at SkyDome in Toronto and at Copps Coliseum in Hamilton.

Elsewhere in sports, Wong says the Nike parent company has signed a multi-year agreement with the National Hockey League for the worldwide use of its logos. DC