#nike

 Darren Rovell and Marc Stein:

With Durant on the verge of a move to Under Armour, sources told ESPN on Sunday that Nike exercised its right to match any rival shoe company’s offer to the Oklahoma City Thunder star. A source with knowledge of the deal later told ESPN that Durant has indeed signed with the Oregon-based company.

Nike countered Under Armour’s offer of between $265 million and $285 million and believes it will keep Kevin Durant for the next 10 years, sources told ESPN.

The most interesting aspect of this isn’t that Nike beat out Under Armour, it’s that Durant went with Nike even though Under Armour’s deal was said to include a huge chunk of Under Armour stock. This is the same type of deal Under Armour cut with the NFL owners in 2006 to get their foot in the door — and it’s worked out very well for the NFL ($4.5M turned into well over $100M). 

Hard to see the downside of going with Nike here, but it could end up being shortsighted by Durant.

Chad Bray:

Several news outlets reported that Adidas, the German sportswear maker, was likely to succeed Nike. The Financial Times reported that such a deal could be worth up to £750 million over 10 years, making it one of the most lucrative equipment sponsorship deals in sports.

Crazy. Though perhaps not as crazy as the fact that American car-maker Chevrolet will be the main sponsor of the team starting this year (that deal cost $599 million over eight years).

Yes, Man U will be wearing jerseys with a giant Chevrolet logo on the front. (Nike will still be there this year since that deal ends next year.)

Yuichiro Kanematsu on the forthcoming iWatch:

Apple appears confident of the new product. According to a parts manufacturer, it plans monthly commercial output of about 3-5 million units, which exceeds the total global sales of watch-like devices last year.

Both Nikkei and Recode believe this device is coming this October.

Also:

Apple is also in partnership with Nike. According to sources familiar with the matter, the two companies have likely agreed to integrate their services in the future. The sports equipment maker is expected to eventually pull out of the device business to concentrate on services.

Thought so. The other shoe, has indeed dropped.

Brendan Greeley 

On June 12 in São Paulo, Brazil will play Croatia in the first game of this year’s World Cup. The corporate spend on team sponsorships alone, according to Ohlmann, will total almost $400 million. Nike will sponsor 10 national teams, more than it ever has before—and one more than Adidas. Nike has Brazil, Portugal, and Ronaldo. Adidas has Spain, Germany, and Lionel Messi, the Argentine who has won the Ballon d’Or four times. As in every World Cup since 1970, the ball on the field will be Adidas’s.

Fascinating war between the two. Sponsorship, no longer image, is everything.

Ben Thompson:

Interestingly, both Apple and Nike have markedly similar business models: as various pundit never tire of telling us, Apple is selling a commodity and is doomed to inevitable margin pressure and/or massive loss of share in the face of good-enough cheap Android. For better or worse we in tech are stuck with these folks, because who knows what they would make of a company like Nike, selling pieces of leather and bits of fabric. Talk about a commodity! And yet, there is Nike, sporting a ~45% gross margin in an industry that averages 33%. Clearly they are more than just an apparel maker.

Lost in the story of the demise of the FuelBand is just how similar Nike and Apple are in many respects. Apple’s “iWatch” may not be the reason Nike is killing off the FuelBand, but both companies will be better off as a result of a partnership in this space — as will consumers.

Nick Statt:

Nike is gearing up to shutter its wearable-hardware efforts, and the sportswear company this week fired the majority of the team responsible for the development of its FuelBand fitness tracker, a person familiar with the matter told CNET.

Yikes. Though the reality is that this seemed inevitable as something Apple this way comes:

As Apple enters the fray, Nike has a potential partner. Apple CEO Tim Cook, who was seen wearing a FuelBand at the company’s launch of the iPad mini in October of 2012, sits on Nike’s board, and has for the last nine years. That relationship has been fruitful over the years, helping Nike enter the wearable market as early as 2006, with the Nike+iPod shoe sensor package, with a strong brand partner.

I’ve been saying this for a while: Tim Cook remaining on Nike’s board while Apple readies its own health/fitness-focused device was awkward at best. Unless Nike decided to exit that business and instead partner with Apple on such a device…

(As an aside, Secret strikes first again on this news.)

Update: Nike has issued a fairly standard non-denial, denial. They’re admitting to the layoffs, but dismissing the notion that the FuelBand is being killed off. To which I say, as always with these types of statements: yet.

(Of course they’re not going to admit to killing the FuelBand right now, there is still product on the shelves — not to mention new color variations, long in the pipeline, about to launch. They could either kill the product and sell none of those or postpone that announcement and sell at least some of those. No-brainer.)

An insanely detailed leak of Apple’s forthcoming Healthbook software (likely a part of iOS 8) by Mark Gurman:

Each category of functionality is a card in the Healthbook. Cards are distinguished by a color, and the tabs can be arranged to fit user preferences. As can be seen in the above images, Healthbook has sections that can track data pertaining to bloodwork, heart rate, hydration, blood pressure, physical activity, nutrition, blood sugar, sleep, respiratory rate, oxygen saturation, and weight.

The big question, as Gurman notes at the end, is which devices will supply the data to Healthbook? Certainly, the iPhone itself is one (especially the models with an M7 chip). And it sure sounds like some sort of forthcoming “iWatch" would be another. But given the scope of Healthbook, it also seems likely to me that Apple will allow third-party devices to work with the software. This being Apple, you can be sure such a list will be curated, at least at first.

To that end, just remember that Tim Cook remains on Nike’s Board of Directors…

Joshua Brustein:

The biggest prize for Nike may have come last week, when Apple (AAPL) said its new iPhone would have sensors allowing people to use their phones to keep track of their Fuel points. Apple’s oft-predicted, never-confirmed smartwatch would presumably be a major threat to the FuelBand, but the two companies seem pretty cozy right now. Nike said on Tuesday that it still has no plans to make a Nike+ app for Android, and Olander indicated there are too many devices on the Android operating system to offer a consistent user experience. (He didn’t mention anything about Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook’s presence on Nike’s board.)

Maybe this is naiveté, but given all the signals between the two companies recently (number one being that Tim Cook is still on Nike’s board), I’m starting to be more sure that any wearable Apple does will be in cooperation with Nike, not opposed to them.