Stan Smith's adidas shoe contract...Eff You Money or Lunch Money?

Discussion in 'Pros' Racquets and Gear' started by MAXXply, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    Does anyone with any knowledge of how endorsement deals are put together have a rough idea of how Stan Smith's shoe deal with adidas is structured? Or estimate how much money he's earned for endorsing arguably the world's most ubiquitous tennis/casual shoe?

    The adidas Stan Smith shoe is what, over 40yrs old now? And before they put Stan on the shoe tongue it was Robert Haillet's signature kicks.

    Is Smith paid a simple flat fee annually? Or fee + royalties over a certain percentage of sales? Royalties only?

    How much do you think Stan's earned over the lifetime of the shoe? Tens of millions of dollars? Or less than $2 million?

    I've always been curious as to whether guys like Smith and Jack Kramer simply received a check in the mailbox once or twice a year.
     
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  2. Jeebs

    Jeebs Rookie

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    I reckon a small, one-off fee.
     
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  3. MAX PLY

    MAX PLY Hall of Fame

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  4. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    He has stated that he stills gets royalties on the shoe and he has made in the 10s of millions since he early 70s. That shoe for the last 15 yrs has become a "casual" shoe and is sold in all of the large box stores and discount shoe stores everywhere......it's been a gold one for him. (I remember an article in RSI about this deal and the one Laver has as well.....the Laver shoe is still available as well).
     
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  5. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    ^^^ I cannot imagine, in this day and age, that a sneaker will achieve such commercial longevity as to remain a staple for over 40 years.
    I don't even think the Jordan brand will be around in the next 30yrs. And I doubt there's ever gonna be a specific Nike "Roger Federer" shoe one day either. And even if there was, they wouldn't leave the design unchanged for such a length of time as Stan Smith's. The key to achieving enduring sales will be, as in Stan's example, a timeless classic design that will never date :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2012
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  6. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    It's just a perfect shoe - when adidas first real east that shoe (like you said it was the French player Halliet who was the big cheese for them back then) it was the first all leather tennis specific shoe.

    Now after almost 50yrs adidas keeps playing it smart marketing it to the masses - the S Smith is still found in the suburbs in the inner city on court (still a damn fine shoe) - its the one in a million that hits and goes on and on.
     
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  7. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    Early adidas USA advertisements in 1971 issues of World Tennis showed the line-up at the time, sans Stan Smith:

    -'Wimbledon' (co-branded with Wilhelm Bungert's name). Looked like an early version of the shell-toe Superstar
    -'John Newcombe', probably Newk's 1st signature shoe. An earlier design that wasn't the gold striped 'Forest Hills'
    -'Rod Laver', early design that wasn't yet the Rod Laver shoe we know today.
     
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  8. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    Hi, Would you be able to scan the ad and post please? Thanks!
     
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  9. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    From World Tennis magazine, December 1971:

    L-R: John Newcombe, Wimbledon Wilhelm Bungert, Rod Laver

    Newcombe featured name printed on tongue but no Newk face image. Looks similar to Stan Smith with perforated 3-stripes but the toe box is reinforced with extra leather whereas the Smith is not.
    Bungert featured blue and red stripes. The sole looks like the one used on adidas Gazelle shoes. Kangaroo leather which later was used and marketed on the "Forest Hills" shoe as "Kangoran"
    Laver shoe looks unlike the one we know today but did feature the non-leather uppers.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. raging

    raging Professional

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    Thanks for the post MAXXPLY & the OP & other posters for the memories.
    I had the newk shoe in the 70s, Stan was/is a legend.
     
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  11. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

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    I wore mine today as it happens
     
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  12. MAXXply

    MAXXply Hall of Fame

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    Apart from its classic design, another factor I think which has contributed to its longevity is the utter simplicity of the "Stan Smith" name as well. It rolls off the tongue so easily. So alliterative.
    It would've been hard to market the shoe with Smith as the front-man if his name had been, for example, "Stanislas Smitkowski".
     
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  13. gavna

    gavna Hall of Fame

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    If i remember correctly it was still the Halliet in 1971 and Smith was not the offical endorser yet - it was not rebranded as the S Smith until after 1972.

    adidas has sold close to 100 million pairs of the S Smith shoe since 1972!!!! amazing.
     
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  14. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    So if Stan makes 10cents per pair, that's $10,000,000.
     
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