Adidas has no plans for Adams Thunder singlet

HAMISH MCNICOL
Last updated 11:23 02/07/2013
Steven Adams
Reuters
KIWI HISTORY: Steven Adams makes history after being drafted by NBA franchise Oklahoma City Thunder.

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The Oklahoma City Thunder may have gained five million fans last Friday but retailers and fans hoping to dunk in on Steven Adams basketball singlets will have to wait.

New Zealand's 2.13-metre-tall NBA draftee has chosen to wear the number 12 on his new team's jersey, because he was the 12th draft pick, but adidas has no plans to release an Adams playing singlet.

Adidas New Zealand spokesperson Josie Tapper said though the company was confident Adams singlets would sell out in the country, adidas NZ had no say over whether a jersey would be made available for sale.

"It's very unlikely that there will be a Steven Adams singlet.

"We'd love to get them in, that would be awesome."

Tapper said New Zealand generally received merchandise from only the top eight teams, of which Oklahoma City was a part, but a singlet was not likely until Adams made the top team in NBA.

"If he became one of the top players then maybe [adidas] Global would look at doing that but it's more likely that we'd get the [top Oklahoma player Kevin] Durant and the other singlets before we'd get Adams, even though it's a New Zealand market.

"And even then it's not a given but we're crossing our fingers."

Sales of basketball gear and singlets in New Zealand were not massive, she said, but were expected to get a boost with Adams' draft.

"That kind of happens with things like that so when Winston Reid started playing for West Ham [in the English Premier League] sales boosted, anecdotally."

The lack of an Adams Oklahoma City Thunder singlet could be a blow to both consumers and retailers.

After the draft, fans tweeted on social media network Twitter about wanting to buy Adams and Oklahoma City Thunder singlets. Nate Talamahine said,"@Real StevenAdams congrats bro. Can't wait to rep the new singlet and number."

Another tweet, from Ollie Ritchie, said "@okcthunder when can I get my @RealStevenAdams singlet?? #kevinwho."

Named team playing singlets sell for $120 at both Stirling Sports and Rebel Sport in New Zealand.

On the NBA Store website, a new Oklahoma City Thunder singlet starts at US$90, excluding delivery (NZ$115).

Wellington's Bhavesh Bulsara, who founded a Facebook group that sold basketball products - Basketball Singlets NZ - said he was receiving daily requests for Adams products.

Following last Friday's draft, Bulsara said he had seen a slight increase in sales of Oklahoma City Thunder gear.

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"But after the Miami Heat won the NBA Finals I saw requests for their singlets skyrocket."

Stirling Sports general manager Wayne Turner said that in the past 12 to 18 months there had been a significant spike in basketball product sales.

"Having a New Zealand product in one of the teams now, I'm sure that's going to make a difference again, particularly for that one-off jersey or shirt or singlet.

"It's not even the basketballers necessarily wearing them; it's actually becoming a fashion accessory."

In New Zealand, the top ranking basketball singlets were for the Los Angeles Lakers, but sales were minor when compared with All Blacks and Rugby League products, he said.

Stirling Sports' top 20 products were all either All Blacks, Super Rugby or Warriors items, with Lakers jerseys ranking 21st.

Turner said it was standard for suppliers and brands to take at least three to six months to present a new product, such as a singlet with Adams' name on the back.

"I wouldn't think that anything's going to be in the marketplace unless it's a take-off.

"It will take some time for it to hit the marketplace, I'd imagine."

- © Fairfax NZ News

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