Eyewear giant Oakley Inc has signed up promising basketball star Shane Battier to help it develop a new range of athletic footwear.

Battier has agreed a one year development contract for basketball shoes and will now play his rookie season in Oakley prototype trainers.

His input will help the company's designers produce a second sport-specific shoe model and add to its current array of footwear offerings.

"With a US market size of approximately $2bn, basketball is the largest category in the athletic footwear industry today," Oakley president Colin Baden said. "It represents a new area of opportunity for Oakley to demonstrate its performance innovation capabilities.

"Shane's entry into the NBA has been highly anticipated because he is recognised as one of the most fundamentally sound and talented new players in the league. We'll use his expertise as a research tool to balance the equation of our development programme."

Oakley plans to launch its performance basketball shoe in fall of 2002 through its growing network of footwear accounts. The firm's footwear products are currently sold through nearly 4,700 locations around the world.

To view related research reports, please follow the links below:-

The 2000-2005 World Outlook for Women's Footwear

The 2000-2005 World Outlook for Men's Footwear

Sports Clothing & Footwear