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JMarkJohns
01-06-2005, 07:17 PM
"Sales of Bryant's jersey plummets out of top 50 in December"


Lot's of people are turning on Kobe :roll: :roll: :roll:


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Kobe Bryant is no longer a fashion icon.

For the last month, Bryant's No. 8 Lakers jersey -- previously one of the best sellers in the world -- has fallen out of the top 50, according to point-of-sale data tabulated by a Florida market research firm.

Bryant's NBA jersey was still the 10th-highest selling jersey for the year, but he finished the month of December at No. 72 -- and in one week plunged to No. 90, a drastic slide for the player many once saw as the sport's next marketing golden boy.

"I would never have thought it would have dropped off like this," said Neil Schwartz, director of marketing and business development for SportsScanINFO in West Palm Beach, which tracks weekly sales data from sporting goods retailers nationwide.

Bryant's marketability has likely been hurt by the flurry of bad press he's been receiving lately, analysts say. It began with his rape case and included his feud with former teammate Shaquille O'Neal, his spat with current teammate Karl Malone and a new book by former coach Phil Jackson that portrays Bryant as an aloof prima donna.

Before the season started, O'Neal was traded to the Miami Heat and Jackson retired -- departures that many fans have blamed on Bryant.

"I was a big fan, but I just can't wear his jersey anymore," said Patrick Buan, 27, of Victorville, Calif., who last month put up for sale his four Bryant jerseys on eBay.

Bryant's agent, Rob Pelinka, did not return calls seeking comment. Nike Inc., Bryant's main sponsor, also declined to comment, saying only that Bryant remains under contract with the company.

Officials at AEG, the Lakers' parent company, said sales of Bryant's jersey had dipped noticeably at the store in Staples Center in recent weeks. They said the problem began early this summer as Bryant prepared to face criminal rape charges -- which were later dropped after his accuser said she did not want to participate in the trial.

"He's such a significant player that we weren't willing to make all those goods and have him go to jail," said Alan Fey, vice president of merchandising for AEG.

Schwartz said Bryant's legal troubles could account for a drop in sales in the summer and possibly at the beginning of the season -- but not in December.

In June -- when the preparations for Bryant's rape trial were going full tilt -- three of Bryant's jerseys occupied the first, third and fifth spots in terms of units sold, according to Schwartz, whose company tallies numbers from a wide range of retailers, including JC Penny, Sears and Sports Chalet.

Industry insiders say that while fans may have been willing to look the other way during the rape scandal, they seem far less willing to forgive him now for what they see as the breakup of a championship team.

"I think a lot of people were understanding of the rape trial, because there are a lot of cases of players being entrapped," said Bob Dorfman, executive vice president of Pickett Advertising in San Francisco. "But it's all about winning -- that's what tickles the cash register. When he jeopardized that by singlehandely blowing apart the team, it was the final straw for a lot of people."

The drop in sales is being felt in a wide variety of retail venues -- from small sporting good chains to the Lakers' memorabilia hub at Staples Center.

"Kobe's jersey was a core part of our business -- and now with the team going in the direction it has, we've ordered less and seen less of a demand," said Mike Batt, general manager of Fanzz in Salt Lake City, a sporting goods retail chain with 32 stores.

The drop in sales is bad news for Nike Inc., based in Beaverton, Ore., which sank a reported $40 million into a multiyear contract with Bryant.

While Nike does not make his jersey -- Massachusetts-based Reebok, Inc. recently bought the licensing rights to all NBA player jerseys from Nike -- the decline is further evidence that they may not see a return on their investment.

While both McDonald's and Nutella have since dropped him, Nike has stood by Bryant, but has yet to use him in a single ad, even in ones touting Bryant's own shoe.

Nike spokesman Rodney Knox declined to say whether the manufacturer intends to use him in future campaigns.

"There's too much at stake for Nike to want to tarnish their brand image by using him," said Paul Swangard, managing director of the Warsaw Sports Marketing Center at the University of Oregon.

While the drop in sales is surprising, it's unlikely to make a dent in Bryant's personal fortune. In June, Forbes.Com ranked him as the 10th highest-paid celebrity of 2004, earning $26.1 million from June 2003 to June 2004 in salaries, bonuses, prize money, appearance fees -- as well as his Nike endorsement.

PointGuardU03
01-06-2005, 08:15 PM
Serves him right. I for one would like the record to show that I hated Kobe long before the rape case came out.

budd1e_lee
01-06-2005, 08:17 PM
Serves him right. I for one would like the record to show that I hated Kobe long before the rape case came out.

that makes 2 of us

JMarkJohns
01-06-2005, 08:26 PM
Motion passes...


Let it be known that everyone who has posted in this thread has a long standing hatred for one, Mr. Kobe Bryant.

HASSstafa05
01-06-2005, 08:52 PM
i hate him because of his selfishness. he's made some unbeleivable plays during his career, but thats not enough for me.. i HATE him

muffley
01-06-2005, 08:53 PM
that makes 2 of us

Trey.

UofAcat23
01-06-2005, 09:01 PM
I hate him because he think's he's Jordan, but he's not.

Phylek
01-06-2005, 09:48 PM
Serves him right. I for one would like the record to show that I hated Kobe long before the rape case came out.
That makes it how ever many I make it. I think we're up to 4?

JMarkJohns
01-06-2005, 10:21 PM
Kobe Bryant = The Anti-Jordan

Even if ya hated Jordan, ya loved him...

BibbysTowelDude
01-07-2005, 05:26 AM
Jordan won his fair share of games, guys like Horry and Fisher did it for Kobe...

budd1e_lee
01-07-2005, 05:28 AM
Jordan won his fair share of games, guys like Horry and Fisher did it for Kobe...


...and Shaq, Jordan never had a dominating big man, save maybe bill cartwright

HiCat
01-07-2005, 05:12 PM
"Bryant's marketability has likely been hurt by the flurry of bad press he's been receiving lately, analysts say. It began with his rape case and included his feud with former teammate Shaquille O'Neal, his spat with current teammate Karl Malone and a new book by former coach Phil Jackson that portrays Bryant as an aloof prima donna."

Wow, now this is news...

Kobe's rep is done. He's never going to be able to salvage his image during his career in the nba. "Aloof prima donna " seems to sum him up. Also, selfish, ego maniacal, stupid, unstable, p....k.. etc. etc.. and his parents don't like him. You get the picture.. But I don't mean that in a bad way. ha...

He'll be remembered for destroying a Laker Championship team. (good player though, but never MJ)

Kobe now ranks down there with Spreewell sp and Artest..maybe even OJ and Tyson.

Zero
01-08-2005, 12:35 AM
i work at just sports in a mall here in tucson, and i can only remember selling about 2 or 3 kobes over the christmas time.

we have jordan jereseys that seem to be our top seller. and the lebron, i would of thought more suns would be selling, but most of the people who buy them are not exactly fans of the teams more to look cool.

HiCat
01-08-2005, 10:05 AM
http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/columns/story?columnist=stein_marc&id=1961438

"In light of all the stuff people talk about, how I can't lead a team to a championship, that there's no way he can ever win one (without Shaq), it would feel great just to shut everybody up," Bryant said. "But I understand it's a process for us. You can't skip steps. We all have to be patient and grow with the process and use everything as fuel."


Means LA skips the playoffs this year.

JMarkJohns
01-08-2005, 01:50 PM
"In light of all the stuff people talk about, how I can't lead a team to a championship, that there's no way he can ever win one (without Shaq), it would feel great just to shut everybody up."

That spotlight's not so bearable without that 7-foot, 300-pound lug ya used to hide behind, is it Kobe... :roll: Does someone need a hug?

"You called down the thunder! Well now you have it..."
- Wyatt Earp, "TOMBSTONE"