Will the young Belgian basketball player soon be walking around en masse wearing a Toumani Kamara jersey, after our compatriot made a promising start in the NBA? And at the country’s largest basketball store, they haven’t noticed Kamara’s influence at the moment. “But we will soon sell his shirt in our stores,” she added.
Young basketball players love to wear the jersey of their heroes. T-shirts from LeBron James, Stephen Curry or LaMelo Ball sell like hotcakes. The fact that the youngsters now also have a Belgian NBA champion with Toumani Kamara is not causing a rush in the stores yet.
“There has already been some demand for his shirt, but it’s still very limited at the moment. People are still waiting a bit. His promising start will help, but at the moment the phone isn’t ringing,” he says. Jeroen Bijens, marketing director at basketball specialist Bouncewear.
In the past, it was almost impossible to buy a Camara shirt from a Belgian store. “This was intended exclusively for the NBA Store,” Biggins explains.
There has already been some demand for a Toumani Kamara shirt, but the phone has yet to ring.
“We were able to indicate which shirts we wanted to sell, but if the number of orders for a particular region was not met, they would simply not be produced. This was certainly the case with Kamara, because there is only interest in Belgium for her shirt.”
“But the NBA recently allowed those jerseys to be printed as long as the blanks are in stock. This is because more and more Europeans are playing in a locally relevant NBA, like Kamara in Belgium.”
Will there soon be Camara jackets under Belgian Christmas trees? “It would be nice if it could happen quickly, although I can’t promise that,” smiles Begins. “But the intention is definitely to be able to sell his shirt in our stores as quickly as possible.”
In countries such as France, Spain or the United Kingdom, the market is much larger than in Belgium.
So we’ll have to wait a little longer for Toumani Kamara’s impact to be felt in shirt sales. “It’s good to have a Belgian in the NBA that young people can look up to. We’re all basketball fans, so regardless of our job, we’re very happy about it,” Bijens says.
“We are also very happy that we will now have the option to sell his jersey. You can still make a difference with the jerseys of a player from your country.”
But Kamara influence or not: Belgium remains a small sales market for a basketball specialty store. “In countries like France, Spain or the UK, the NBA is followed more closely. They also have a larger number of NBA players. The market for us is much bigger in such countries.”
“If there is Kamara’s influence, Belgium will be able to grow as a basketball nation. We as basketball fans can only be happy about that.”
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