Non-traditional players in the sneaker and apparel space continue to attract big-name sports stars to their brands.
Philadelphia 76ers center and reigning NBA MVP Joel Embiid is reportedly finalizing a deal to endorse Skechers as the first athlete in its new basketball division, per The Athletic.
Embiid tested out Skechers basketball shoes with brand representatives on hand to take feedback at 76ers practice on Wednesday. He will reportedly start wearing Skechers sneakers in NBA games once a deal is finalized.
The 29-year-old was initially signed on with Under Armour, who first released a signature shoe for Embiid in September 2020.
According to The Athletic, New York Knicks forward Julius Randle and Los Angeles Clippers guard Terance Mann are also expected to sign with Skechers.
The California-based company has long been known for its muted but comfortable designs in the consumer sneaker market, but has begun to make inroads in professional sports.
In August, Skechers announced it had signed a lifetime endorsement deal with English soccer star Harry Kane. The company also works with golf major champion Matt Fitzpatrick.
It’s been quite the resurgence for companies not historically known to endorse high-profile athletes.
In the last week, Reebok announced it had brought on Shaquille O’Neal and Allen Iverson as the president and vice president, respectively, of basketball for the company. O’Neal’s first move as president was signing LSU women’s basketball star Angel Reese to an NIL deal.
In January, New Balance signed Japanese baseball sensation Shohei Ohtani to its sneakily impressive roster of endorsers that includes Clippers superstar Kawhi Leonard and tennis major champion Coco Gauff.