Sheryl Swoopes thinks it’s time for a successor to her Air Swoopes signature shoe legacy. While WNBA legends Rebecca Lobo, Dawn Staley and Chamique Holdsclaw all had signature shoes and current stars like Candace Parker, Maya Moore and Elena Delle Donne have exclusive apparel deals, none have had the same impact. Air Swoopes had seven runs, beginning in the mid-1990s.
Current trends show Swoopes might be spot on with her timing. Recently, a WNBA orange hoodie was the top-selling item on Fanatics. No. 1 overall WNBA draft pick Sabrina Ionescu, one of the most heralded basketball players coming out of college ever, signed a multi-year deal with Nike after being courted by every major sneaker brand.
In June, Nike announced the Swoosh Fly apparel line, which is specifically designed for women basketball players. No signature shoe was attached, but Ionescu and A’ja Wilson were both consulted during the line’s creation. Nike has also seen double-digit growth in the women’s category recently.
Women’s Apparel Sales Highlights
— U.S. women’s national soccer team World Cup kit became the top-selling soccer jersey ever sold on Nike’s website in one season.
— World Cup-related apparel sales increased 150%.
— Ionescu’s Oregon replica jersey sold out in less than 24 hours.