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Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes Talks the Marketability of Soccer with the World Cup, and Shoe Deals

Kurt Badenhausen of Forbes joined Jeff Thurn on Tuesday’s edition of Overtime.

Badenhausen (@kbadenhausen) is a senior editor at Forbes.

How sustainable is soccer in the United States after a run into the Round of 16 for the men’s national team?  

“That’s a good question and I think time will tell with past World Cup’s where there has been a fever that has gripped the U.S. But I think to some degree, this will stick a little bit than past years. I don’t think suddenly we are going to become a soccer mad country. I think football, baseball and basketball are still going to rule the world, or at least the U.S. At the end of the day, Americans want to see the best competition. I think you are seeing that with more English Premier Team’s coming to the U.S. You are seeing fans getting excited for that. You know, Major League Soccer has made a lot of progress, but they are still bumping against the top players in the world are typically playing in Europe. I think you will still see, we’ll capture a little bit of this momentum that will stick with us in soccer than in the past, but by no stretch are we going to see the U.S. turning and kicking a soccer ball around.”

Unfortunately, Belgium beat the U.S. on Tuesday afternoon in the round of 16 and sent the Americans home packing.

Does Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker or Joel Embiid have ‘it,’ concerning what sponsors are looking for? 

“Yeah, I think those top two guys are potentially absolutely slam dunks for sponsors. For NBA players, it really comes down to the shoe deal and where these guys can make signifiant money. Whether it’s from Nike or Adidas, it’s really drives the train in terms of off the court.”

The market decreases if you do not have your own signature shoe, you’re not making seven figures. Adidas’ market share is down to five percent, whereas Nike’s is up 93 percent, including the Jordan brand. LeBron James sells 300 million a year in terms of basketball shoes. Kevin Durant is next at 175 million. Kobe Bryant, Carmelo Anthony, and Chris Paul follow Durant. Derrick Rose sells 40 million a year in retail sales.

To hear more of Badenhausen’s interview with Thurn, listen below:

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Catch Thurn daily on ESPN 99.1 in Sioux Falls from 3 to 6 p.m.

**For story ideas, or comments, email Sam at and follow him on Twitter @samtastad.**

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

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