Darren Rovell Says Nike is Not Meeting Demand for Retro Dream Team Apparel

Sports business analyst Darren Rovell, who recently left CNBC for ESPN, joined Colin Cowherd’s radio show today to talk about the US Men’s Olympic Basketball team, Jeremy Lin, and Carmelo Anthony.

At the beginning, Cowherd asked Rovell to compare the marketability of the 1992 Dream Team to this year’s squad:

Cowherd: We all acknowledge that the Dream Team was better on the court [than this year’s team]. Is this team comparable to the Dream Team in marketing? Was that team far more popular than this team?

Rovell: If you break it down, it’s obviously a different era in time but, yeah, I would definitely say that this team is not as marketable as that team. But, then again, sports marketing has come a long way…I think that the Dream Team as a marketing vehicle–it’s not even close. And the crazy thing is, by the way, everyone’s asking Nike, “Where are all the retro Dream Team things that I want to buy?”

I think it’s one of the first times ever where Nike has not met demand for something.

Rovell is right: there are only seven retro Dream Team jersey items for sale in the NBA.com store and three of them are current Team USA players’ jerseys in 1992 form. There are only three real Dream Team jerseys: Michael Jordan, Scottie Pippen, and Charles Barkley.

It’s extremely odd that, on the 20th anniversary of the Barcelona Olympics, that Nike did not produce commemorative jerseys for, say, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. With the interest in the Dream Team piqued by NBATV’s documentary, I have no doubt that these would have sold quite well.

NBA.com has a slightly better selection of jerseys from this year’s team, including LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Russell Westbrook, Carmelo Anthony. Here’s a great view of LeBron’s:


– Charles Barkley Said Larry Bird Drank Him Under the Table, LeBron Haters Led by “Punk-ass” Skip Bayless

– Rooting for Allen Iverson


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