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Francisco Lindor's new signature baseball cleat. Source: @NB_Baseball (Twitter)

The NBA's sneaker culture has helped drive a multi-billion dollar industry while simultaneously bringing players and fans closer than ever before.

What's happening: Some companies are putting in the work to find out if those same principles can apply to other sports.

  • Just Dishin, an online apparel store, produces "skins" to transform standard hockey skates into custom designs. They also worked with an artist to produce the Air Jordan 1 skate pictured below. It's not for sale, but gets people talking about what's possible.
  • New Balance made Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor just the third MLB player with a signature cleat (above), joining Bryce Harper and Mike Trout. The effervescent superstar is among the select few players who could reach cross-cultural relevance a la Ken Griffey Jr., whose classic Swingman shoe is still making waves in 2021.
Courtesy @JustDishin (Twitter)

The backdrop: Since the Air Jordan debuted in 1984, NBA shoe deals have gone from rarity to something approaching ubiquity.

  • More recently, online marketplaces like StockX ($2.8 billion) and GOAT ($1.75 billion) have realized enormous valuations.
  • While that's hardly on the strength of basketball shoes alone, they still rule the roost when it comes to sport-specific footwear.

The big picture: The reason for this isn't hard to discern, as basketball — with its bevy of marketable stars — combines popularity (sport), visibility (athlete) and functionality (shoe) far better than its counterparts.

  • Football is insanely popular, but its athletes are hidden behind helmets; baseball players are visible, but rarely double as marketable; and hockey trails the other major sports in all three categories.
  • Plus, unlike basketball shoes, cleats and skates aren't useful in everyday life.

Go deeper: Air Jordan on ice? (The Athletic)

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
3 hours ago - Health

FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adults

Photo: Wolfgang Kumm/picture alliance via Getty Images)

Members of the Food and Drug Administration's vaccine expert panel on Friday unanimously endorsed a booster shot for adult recipients of Johnson & Johnson's COVID-19 vaccine at least two months after the initial dose.

Why it matters: The advisory committee raised concerns about a dearth of data to support their decision but ultimately decided to support an additional shot for those over 18.

Capitol Police officer indicted for obstructing Jan. 6 investigation

Trump supporters clash with police and security forces as people try to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6. Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images

A U.S. Capitol Police officer has been indicted on obstruction of justice charges for allegedly helping hide evidence of a participant's involvement in the Jan. 6 riot.

Driving the news: Officer Michael A. Riley, 50, is accused of telling the unidentified participant, referred to as "Person 1," in the Jan. 6 riot to delete posts from Facebook, which showed them in the Capitol during the attack.

7 hours ago - World

British MP dies after being stabbed while meeting constituents

Police outside Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, England, on Oct. 15. Photo: John Keeble/Getty Images

David Amess, a Conservative Party lawmaker in the U.K., was fatally stabbed Friday while meeting with local constituents in a church in eastern England, according to AP.

The big picture: Police said a man, 25, was arrested for the stabbing in Leigh-on-Sea and is being held on suspicion of murder. A knife was also recovered at the scene, authorities said.