In 2003, LeBron James inked a 7-year, $87 million deal with Nike, losing over $28 million by not picking Reebok
Getting to the NBA is a dream for everyone who loves to play basketball. However, there are only a few who can actually materialize on the same. Out of those few, there are only a select few who go down as the greats of the game. LeBron James is one of them.
Getting tons of recognition from his freshman year at high school itself, LeBron James was a well-sought-after person. Right from his high-school days, LBJ was getting comparisons to the great Michael Jordan. Many went as far as to call the young high-schooler the next coming of MJ.
Since he declared himself for the NBA Draft in the summer of 2003, shoe brands were after him for a deal. Before the NBA Draft, the King had to select between Nike, Reebok, and Adidas as the shoes he would wear when he debuted on the big stages.
LeBron James lost $28 million by choosing Nike, but has gained about $1 billion since
Back in 2003, Reebok was offering James $115 million for a rookie deal. On the other hand, Nike was offering $87 million, and Adidas was offering under $60 million. LeBron James decided to go after the brand his idol, Michael Jordan trusted, and went with Nike.
“I’M A NIKE GUY”
19 years ago today, 18-year-old LeBron James signed a 7-year, $87 million deal with Nike.
Reebok reportedly offered $115 million & Adidas offered less than $60 million! pic.twitter.com/Ea0faV1fI4
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) May 22, 2022
19 years later, LeBron is on a lifetime deal with Nike, having signed a $1 billion deal for the same. Apart from that, LBJ earns around $32 million per year from the shoe brand.
19 years later, LeBron has a lifetime deal worth over $1B pic.twitter.com/cld4bx4Nbg
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 22, 2022
Nike opened the LeBron James innovation center on their Oregon campus. Together, Nike and LBJ have been striving to bring around change for the betterment of athletes and society.
With what he’s gained with the Swoosh, I guess the initial $28 million wouldn’t hurt LBJ so much.