A successful personality both on and off the court, LeBron James has inked a new agreement with Nike that overshadows almost every other athlete.
In an unprecedented move from the world of sports endorsements, Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has just signed a lifetime deal with Nike, in what could be the company’s largest single-athlete guarantee in history.
“We can confirm that we have agreed to a lifetime relationship with LeBron that provides significant value to our business, brand and shareholders,” Nike said in a statement. “We have already built a strong LeBron business over the past 12 years, and we see the potential for this to continue to grow throughout his playing career and beyond.”
According to Forbes, James is making a cool US$44 million per year in endorsements, and this figure is expected to skyrocket. Though the exact monetary details of the new deal are not known, it’s definitely more lucrative than the 10-year, US$300 million deal that Nike signed with fellow NBA player Kevin Durant last year.
In fact, James’ signature basketball shoes have sold an estimated US$340 million in 2014 alone, and though this is merely a fraction of Michael Jordan’s US$2.25 billion sales figure, the numbers are expected to rise with the lifetime deal, as Nike produces new versions of James’ signature shoes in the years to come, complementing the existing 13 iterations in the market.
All that’s left is for James to have his own signature brand, just like Jordan does, though it’s not happening just yet.