Combine the dangers (and barriers -- Econ 205, yeah!) of a new market with the highly combustable prospect of doing anything with Stephon Marbury and we have what could become a must-briefly-watch legal and marketing situation. From Darren Rovell:
The New York Post reported this morning that New York Knicks guard Stephon Marbury, who popularized low cost basketball shoes with his "Starbury" brand at retailer Steve & Barry's, spent Wednesday in Seattle signing a deal with Amazon to sell the sneakers on their web site.Steve and Barry's is going under regardless, but as Rovell points out, there are plenty of larger companies out there debating on purchasing them. Marbury -- who didn't sell his shoes online -- bouncing elsewhere would put a pretty serious dent in their value.
Although Steve & Barry's filed for bankruptcy reorganization on that very same day, and it appears like part of the plan is to close stores, sources tell me that Marbury's contract is still active. That makes me wonder how he'd have the authority to sign this deal.
And while Marbury appears to own the right to the name "Starbury," it's unclear if he owns the logo. It's also not clear at this point who would be making the shoe for Amazon.com.Marbury's marketing representatives at The Agency didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
Laugh all you want -- Marbury, along with Sarah Jessica Parker, Ben Wallace and Bubba Watson, is one of S & B's biggest marketing angles. And despite his on court failures, his cheap as all get out Starbury shoe was still immensely popular. I'd expect Steve (and maybe Barry too) to have a little something to say about this Amazon deal.