Brian Wise covers the classical music business for WQXR, including aspects of performance, technology, philanthropy and institutional trends. He produces the Café Concerts series and the podcast/show Conducting Business. He manages the station's homepage and makes sure what you hear on air is what you see online. Follow him on Twitter at @Briancwise.
Beethoven's Ninth Inspires Nike Basketball Shoe
Sunday, August 10, 2014 - 06:00 PM
Your grandmother's fringed piano scarf may no longer appear so lonely in the hallway coat closet. Nike is gearing up to launch a new basketball shoe this Saturday called the Kobe 9 Elite Low "Beethoven" line.
The "Beethoven" is the ninth incarnation of NBA star Kobe Bryant’s namesake sneaker and, accordingly, takes its inspiration from the composer's Ninth Symphony.
Styled in black and white – for piano keys – the shoe also has a gray mesh fabric, which Nike says, represents Beethoven's "timeless quality." The sneaker is scheduled to hit retailers for a not-insignificant $200 (pre-orders are being sold on eBay for nearly $300).
Bryant, who has played for the Los Angeles Lakers throughout his 18-year career, has previously professed his admiration for Beethoven, and particularly the "Moonlight" Sonata. Last year, he posted a Twitter photo of himself seated at a grand piano and said that practicing helps him relax and focus. Bryant has generated more than $50 million for Nike, according to research firm SportsOneSource. (Hat tip: Classic FM.)
Weigh in: What do you think of Nike's shoe? Does it suggest Beethoven to you?