NBA rookie star’s record contract

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Nike is betting everything on NBA No.1 pick Zion Williamson after striking a sneaker endorsement deal with the New Orleans Pelicans star.

This is an extraordinary victory on two fronts for the clothing giant after the company lost $ 2 billion from its results in February when Williamson shredded his Duke Nike sneaker and injured his knee .

Reportedly, Williamson also signed with Nike for less money than that offered by a rival brand, dropping $ 10 million.

Information released on Wednesday claimed Williamson’s deal with Nike’s Jordan brand was worth $ 75 million (A $ 107 million) over four years.

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This is the biggest rookie shoe endorsement deal signed in the NBA since LeBron James signed with Nike in 2003 for $ 87 million.

That puts Williamson above Kevin Durant’s seven-year, $ 60 million contract when he was picked up by the SuperSonics in 2007.

It also eclipses Ben Simmons’ rookie shoe approval deal with Nike, where the Australian signed a five-year guaranteed $ 20 million deal with performance clauses pushing the deal. to a total of US $ 40 million.

Zion took him to the brim again.Source: AFP

This brings to an end what was predicted earlier this year to be the biggest bidding war of this generation of athletes.

The man who first signed NBA GOAT Michael Jordan to Nike, company executive Sonny Vaccaro, said in April that Williamson’s rookie shoe deal would be the biggest bidding war of his life.

He said after the 2019 NBA Draft that Williamson’s shoe deal would have been worth $ 100 million had he been selected by a big-market franchise like the New York Knocks or the Los Angeles Lakers.

While he didn’t reach those highs, it was reported that as many as seven companies were all looking for Williamson’s signature.

Nike, Adidas, Under Armor, New Balance, Puma and Anta and a Chinese company were all linked with offers to Williamson.

Fear that a rival would tear him away and use the imagery of his exploded shoe at Duke would have forced Nike to come up with its richest shoe offering in 16 years.

This image of Zion’s shattered shoe wiped out $ 2 billion in Nike’s stock value.Source: Getty Images

The company’s campaign was also boosted by the extraordinary efforts it was able to put into developing a bespoke shoe for Williamson at Duke after his previous blowout.

Ultimately, it was Williamson’s affinity for the Jordan brand and his weakness for the iconic basketball player himself that sealed the deal.

“I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the Jordan Brand family,” said Williamson, who was selected first overall in the June draft by the New Orleans Pelicans.

“Ever since I was a kid, I dreamed of being in the league and having the kind of impact on the game that Michael Jordan had and continues to have today. He was one of those special athletes that I admired, and I really can’t express how happy and excited I am for this trip.

Jordan himself, six-time NBA champion with the Chicago Bulls and owner of the Charlotte Hornets, praised Williamson’s “incredible determination, character and play.”

“He’s a vital part of the new talent that will help lead the brand into the future,” Jordan said. “He told us he was going to ‘shock the world’ and asked us to believe him. We do.”

– with AFP


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