The Chicago Bulls rookie Joakim Noah signed according to the Chicago Sun Times a 6-year endorsement deal with the French brand Le Coq Sportif. It is the same brand that his father, former French Tennis glory Yannick Noah made famous throughout the World.
The deal, that includes the possibility for Noah to get also an equity stake in the company in the next years has been built by Donald Dell and Bill Strickland of Kentucky-based Blue Equity. The fact that Noah can create his own line around his person made come up some comparisons to the Nike – Jordan deal. But the agents declined these comparisons.
I think they’re very different deals because they’re very different times. But the concept is the same. When Michael made the second Nike deal, that was a long-term deal. What we’re doing with LCS and Joakim Noah is an opportunity for him to have a royalty involvement in shoes and clothing, both in Europe — but more importantly — in America.
It’s very dissimilar to Nike in the sense that they’re not an established company, although Nike basketball was not that established until Michael, but they were established.
In fact, Le Coq Sportif is not an established company right now, especially not in Basketball. The brand is still very well known in Europe and especially in France. But it is essentially linked to Tennis and of course the father of Joakim, Yannick Noah. And with the retro style that brought back brands like Puma to the top of the Fashion scene, Le Coq Sportif is also trying to build up a vintage brand image. And the signing of Joakim Noah is a clear choice in that direction.
The official website of LCS features a nice clip about Joakim and his new life in Chicago together with an amazing story. You can also find there the already famous series of ads featuring Yannick Noah and the French Rally-Car champion Sebastien Loeb who face each other in a duel on the basketball court.