LeBron James’s Nike deal is one of the highest paying deals in the world of sport. In 2003 he made the choice of leaving a $115 million Reebok deal.
Young Lebron James was the number 1 draft pick in 2003, picked up by the Cleveland Cavaliers and he hasn’t looked back ever since. James shot to fame even before coming into the NBA, as he had massive crowds coming in for his high school games and was also on the cover of Sports Illustrated.
Nike, Reebok and Adidas wanted LeBron
The shoe giants of the World wanted a piece of the next big thing in the NBA. They were ready to splash the dollars and James had a tough little choice to make
Adidas, Reebok, and Nike pitched their plan to LeBron and after several meetings, LeBron decided to go with Nike.
Adidas pitched an amount of $60 million, whereas Nike offered him $87 million. Reebok offered $115 million which was $28 million more than what Nike was offering.
LeBron James’ Nike deal
LeBron, however, went ahead with the Nike deal, with perhaps, Michael Jordan’s legacy having played a role there.
And in hindsight, the choice was a brilliant one, as currently, LeBron is on a lifetime contract with Nike. He could end up earning in excess of $1 billion by the time he is 64.
Made $233.9 million in career NBA salary
Signed a $1 billion deal with Nike
$55 million a year in endorsements
Purchased a $23 million mansion in LA
Remind me again why he is defending China? A country where he could never build this kind of wealth. 🤔
— Ryan Fournier (@RyanAFournier) October 17, 2019
And Reebok? Well they do not sponsor even a single NBA player currently. They clearly did not take the LeBron disapproval well.
Nike’s apparel deal with NBA
Nike has also signed an apparel deal with NBA, one which began from 2017-18 season and for the first time their logo will appear on NBA game jerseys. The deal worth was around $1 billion, and was signed for an 8 year period.
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With LeBron James being the global brand that he is, Nike’s investment with him is sure to earn the company a fortune in the years to come.