Simply months after winning a big legal hearing in China against a business implicated of duping his name and logo design, Michael Jordan’s renowned sneaker brand name has signed its very first Chinese basketball star.
Jordan Brand is paying Guo $1.4 million each year to back its gear, in accordance with The Vertical’s Nick DePaula.
Make no mistake: The world’s most revered shoe brand is signing its very first star from China is an industry deal. Basketball is wildly popular in China, which has a population of more than 1.3 billion.
Sneaker brands frequently send their most significant stars there for publicity trips as inspirational speakers for aspiring players throughout the off-season, but Jordan’s finalizing of Guo represents a significant action. Back in 2008, The New York City Times reported China was estimated to have 450 million basketball fans– which is some 130 million more people than the entire U.S. population today capitalising on this is good for corporate programs of sporting corporations.
Jordan Brand commemorated Guo to its roster with a slick, 85-second advertisement called “Welcome to the Spotlight” that was posted to YouTube on Wednesday.
“You are the first,” Jordan himself features in the advertisement. “Countless have dreamed of this. Represent them. Represent me. Represent yourself.”
Before unveiling Ailun Guo’s basketball jersey design, the ad smoothly highlights Jordan Brand’s current stable of NBA talent, that includes big names like Carmelo Anthony, Chris Paul, Jimmy Butler and Russell Westbrook.
Who is Guo Ailun?
Well, he’s 23 years of ages, for starters. He’s 6”4 and he plays guard. He also plays with some style, and we’re not just talking about the slick style of his basketball hoodies, which is essential to being an efficient sneaker pitchman.
Although he has no buzz as an NBA possibility, Guo is something of a prodigy. He’s played expertly in the Chinese Basketball Association in addition to the Chinese nationwide team considering that he was a teenager.
Way back in 2009, Guo went to the LeBron James Skills Academy camp in Ohio together with some of the best American high school players. ESPN.com described him as “impressive with his ball-handling and ability to pass.”
He’s a little bit of a bad kid, too, it seems. Last year, Guo was involved in a brawl with fans of an opposing group in the lobby of his professional team’s hotel. Later he stated he was simply safeguarding his dad, who had reportedly been confronted by fans of the opposing group.
“It could not be a problem however you cursed me or provoked me. As I chose this profession, what I should have done is to endure that kind of things,” Guo supposedly said on his Weibo socials after the fight. “But if my family was involved, I needed to protect them. This was an instinctive reaction for me as a son. I did not need to give it a second thought”.
Spirited, flashy, and skilled. He sounds like a sneaker pitchman.
And China has a whole lot of basketball fans wanting to buy shoes and other basketball apparel.