Cleveland Cavilers star Lebron James, multinational corporation Nike, have agreed on a new endorsement contract that will keep Lebron with Nike for life.
— NBCSN (@NBCSN) December 7, 2015
James has been with Nike since before he even played an NBA game. A gamble Nike took on an 18 year old has payed its dividends nearly 12 years later.
In his time with Nike, Lebron has revolutionized the sneaker culture, and is the first player to provide legitimate competition to the Air Jordan brand. Lebron is currently on his 13th signature shoe, and every year kids from all over the country rush to local sneaker stores to attempt to get their hands on a pair of his shoes.
Lebron’s extension only proves that the sneaker culture is one of the fastest growing industries in the world. According to Forbes‘ Kurt Badenhausen, James signature shoe produced revenue upwards of $340 million between February 2014 and January 2015, a record for Nike, making him the highest paid active player in the company. In the video below, ESPN’s Darren Reovell breaks down what the deal means from a business perspective:
Ultimately, the deal means that Lebron will be attempting to build his own brand, similar to what Michael Jordan did with his Air Jordan Brand.
James has done nothing but draw comparisons to Jordan since his high school days. His on court performance has been one of the best the game has ever seen over his career, all while his brand is continues to grow off the court, much like Jordan’s did in the shoe industry.
It must be good to be king.