Sports Business

A Day With Amar’e Stoudemire: Game Plan Includes Fashion, Fans, Photos

Amar’e Stouemire may have worked harder during an “off-day’ than he does during a regular day with the New York Knicks – when there is no lockout, that is.

Big Lead Sports, which recently signed an alliance with Stoudemire that will encompass hoops, fantasy sports and educational initiatives, spent a day with the prolific NBA power forward last week when he went virtually non-stop from Thursday morning until the wee hours of the next day.

The schedule on Sept. 8 included filming a Nike promo to support the release of his new hoops shoes on Oct. 1, an appearance at Macy’s in New York’s Herald Square with designer Rachel Roy, hobnobbing with fans, a visit to the Calvin Klein store in Manhattan during Fashion’s Night Out – and some relative down-time in his limo, courtesy of massive New York traffic.

After a morning of handling personal business, Stoudemire hit his Manhattan apartment for lunch, followed by separate interviews with camera crews from Nike and Big Lead Sports.

The Nike shoot was a promo scheduled to be used to support the release of  the Nike Air Max Sweep Thru, which will begin hitting retail Oct. 1, most likely in the blue-and-orange Knicks’ colors, followed by other color variations though the end of the year.

“I really like the shoes – they are comfortable and are great for the way I move on the court: slashing, cutting, jumping,” Stoudemire said while seated in his living room, surrounded by such items as an original Michael Jackson Bad poster, artwork depicting the Rolling Stones ‘tongue” logo from their Sticky Fingers album cover and a graphic design of the word “Read” (which he also has tattooed on his arm).

Stoudemire, whose week already had included a stop at the Polo Grounds Community Center in upper Manhattan to speak with students about reading and education, shared with Big Lead Sports that he also had busy days ahead: Root canal work one day, then flying to Florida for a session of training camps beginning on Sept. 12 with other members of the Knicks.

Stoudemire talked about his recently concluded trip to China. It included stops in Shanghai and Beijing, with interaction with fans, a visit to the Great Wall and winning a three-point contest at the Nike Festival of Sports against such NBA players as Chris Bosh and Tyree Evans.

“Train, travel, study and fashion” are the things that have filled his summer and will continue to do so during the lockout, Stoudemire told Big Lead Sports. When he starts his dedicated workout routine this week in Florida, he said he plans to train more than six hours a day beginning at 7 AM and get into some pick-up games with the other players.

“My back is feeling much better,” he said, referring to a problem he has had since the playoffs last season. “The lockout has given me time to recuperate. I felt like a jet-setter over the summer. But now I’m ready for basketball again.”

Stoudemire and members of his entourage then headed to Macy’s, where he was helping to support the launch of his casual women’s sportswear collection, designed by Rachel Roy. The pair walked down a red carpet in front of the store, much to the joy of New Yorkers who are getting antsy for the Knicks to hit the court.

On the second floor, where the Roy-Stoudemire collection is located, Stoudemire greeted fans standing six rows deep. As photographers popped shots of the duo, some fans got to play Pop-a-Shot with him as part of Hoops for a Cause, raising money for the Amar’e Stoudemire Foundation, which helps at-risk youth.

After a couple of hours, Stoudemire was back in New York traffic, headed uptown to a Calvin Klein store that was also participating in Fashion’s Night Out. Although not at this event, Stoudemire said he already had crossed paths with Dwyane Wade, who was in town (as was Kobe Bryant) to support his own fashion partnerships.

“D-Wade and I both like to be fashionable when we are out,” Stoudemire said.

At the Calvin Klein store, he posed for photos with supermodel Lara Stone, who is the focal point of CK’s current marketing campaign. When asked if he’d like to go Hollywood with Lara, whose name is being associated with the next Mike Meyers’ Austin Powers movie, Stoudemire smiled and said, “Basketball at [Madison Square] Garden – that’s star power.”

After a couple of hours at the Calvin Klein location, Stoudemire was back into the New York night, making the most of his downtime before returning to the court and, as he and other NBA players hope, the start of the 2011-12 season.

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