Thursday, December 19, 2013

Kanye West and Miley Cyrus: keeping Michael Jordan and Bulls nostalgia on top of the rap game

Last night, Kanye West performed at Chicago's United Center, the home of the Chicago Bulls (and Blackhawks).

During the show, he debuted a song in which he auto-tune sang/rapped about why the Chicago Bulls never should have let twice-retired Michael Jordan come back to play for the Washington Wizards:


Two months ago, I wrote about the Mike Will Made It/Miley Cyrus video for "23" - which is effectively a commercial for Nike Air Jordans:

In the Gapers Block piece, I noted how the timing of the video release seemed suspiciously close to the relaunch of the Adidas Derrick Rose shoe line.

Incidentally, Kanye West knows a thing or two about Bulls superstar-friendly shoe brands - he just left Nike for Adidas:
The sneaker endorsement arms race has officially reached a new level. Yesterday, after rapper Kanye West revealed he was leaving Nike to sign with Adidas , rival Drake told fans at a concert in Portland he was joining Nike’s famed Jordan brand. The announcements signal an escalation in the continued battle between the two sportswear giants to acquire celebrity co-signs for their most valuable product lines.

Rumors swirled over the last few weeks of Kanye’s imminent departure from Nike due to the brand’s refusal to give the rapper creative control over his Air Yeezy product line and pay him royalties as part of his compensation package. During an appearance on Hot 97 last week, Kanye explained that during negotiations, he told Nike, ”‘I need royalties.’ It’s not even like I have a joint venture. At least give me some royalties. Michael Jordan has 5% and that business is $2 billion. He makes a 100 million dollars a year off of 5% royalties. Nike told me, ‘We can’t give you royalties because you’re not a professional athlete.’ I told them, ‘I go to the Garden and play one-on-no one. I’m a performance athlete.’”
Drake's addition to the Jordan brand comes after becoming the global ambassador for the Toronto Raptors - a team Michael Jordan never played for.

In related news, my roommate is now the proud owner of a signed Joakim Noah jersey and three signed basketballs. Too bad the Bulls lost 95-

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