Miami Heatís Dwyane Wade parts ways with Jordan Brand, joins Li-Ning
The Miami Heat shooting guard confirmed on Tuesday that he is parting ways with Nike, after his contract expired at the end of September.
There was some confusion regarding Dwyane Wade’s future with the Jordan Brand last week after the 30-year-old hit Miami Heat’s media open day Friday sporting his Jordan Fly Wade 2 sneakers.
Dwyane Wade made his first splash in shoe endorsement market soon after being drafted by the Miami Heat in 2003 by signing with Converse in its first year under the Nike label. In 2009, Dwyane Wade’s switch from Converse to the Nike owned Jordan Brand marked him as one of the biggest names across NBA sporting the Jumpman logo. It wasn’t long after Dwyane Wade made his journey from becoming the face of Nike’s Air Jordan collection to getting his own signature sneakers.
“I did mutually part ways with the Jordan umbrella, with Jordan and Converse," said Dwyane Wade. "I had great nine years but we have mutually parted ways and I'm moving on… But I'm not disappointed at all."
The Jordan Brand released a brief statement after parting ways with Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade.
“The Jordan Brand and Dwyane Wade have mutually agreed to end our relationship,” stated the Jordan Brand. “We wish Dwyane well as he continues his career.”
The two-time NBA champion was particularly careful about maintaining the secrecy of his next move following Tuesday’s training camp, as Dwyane Wade arrived in front of the media members and camera shutters wearing flip-flops.
"I'm just working in my new shoes,” joked Dwyane Wade.
However, Dwyane Wade still cited the utmost respect for Michael Jordan, whom he considers as his idol to this day.
"I still feel honored to have represented my favorite player of all time and his brand, and the opportunity I was given,” Dwyane Wade stated of his three-year stint with the Jordan Brand.
Although Dwyane Wade hasn’t officially announced his endorsement to any other brand yet sources claim that the 11-year NBA veteran taking a plunge in the Chinese market with sporting and apparel giant Li-Ning. Miami Heat forward Shane Battier offered further speculation on Dwyane Wade’s endorsement of the Chinese Li-Ning Brand which stands at solid No.2 in the market local market behind Nike’s Jordan Brand.
"I told him, 'Let the friendly competition begin, Peak vs. Li-Ning," stated Shane Battier who is endorses Peak, which ranks a close No.3 behind Li-Ning in the Chinese market. "I stand by my brand. I was a pioneer over there, so it's good to have a fellow brother over there."
Philadelphia 76ers’ Evan Turner, who is also under an endorsement deal with Li-Ning also gave a shout out to Dwyane Wade, who will become the new face of the Chinese brand. Sources have reported that a deal with Dwyane Wade followed by an official announcement by Li-Ning will be carried out next week.
"I'd like to welcome the homie D Wade to the Li-Ning family!!!" tweeted Evan Turner.
However, the tweet was later removed.
Dwyane Wade also offered a hint in that direction on by playing coy with fans through a Twitter/Instagram preview of his new signature shoe.