The top basketball players can make a considerable amount of money in their career, and it is not just through their contracts with their team. When a player is at the top of their game, everyone wants a piece of them and a sponsorship deal can be of considerable benefit to player and company. This is why the top players are feted by big name firms and when it comes to basketball, you don’t get many bigger names than Kevin Durant or Nike.
The Oklahoma City Thunder player is currently recognised as being the most valuable player in the NBA, which explains Nike’s decision to sign him for one of the best show contracts that basketball, or sport, has ever seen. It is believed that Durant will sign an agreement which could be worth around $350m over the next 20 years. It is believed that $300m of this will be front-loaded in the initial 10 years. Any contract that offers you the chance to earn $30m a year, while getting free shoes as well, has to be worth checking out!
Durant was already signed to Nike, and he has made over $60m from the company for his initial 7 years in the NBA. In this time, Durant has become one of the best players in the league, easily ranking alongside another Nike man, LeBron James. The fact that Durant has been top scorer in the NBA four times in recent years marks him out as a player that makes things happen on the court. When you know that the camera is always going to be drawn to a player, you want to make sure that your product is associated with him. The fact that Durant delivered a well-received speech when he picked up his MVPP award has also ensured that he is in high demand from companies.
Under Armour tried to muscle in on Kevin Durant
Durant’s original Nike deal was set to run out this summer and the player has received a number of offers, with some reports suggesting that Under Armour were in the frame. Under Armour is looking to make massive inroads into the basketball shoe market, and signing up the top player in the league would have been a huge coup for them. For many people, Nike is the name they instantly think of when it comes to basketball shoes but in the current climate, money talks and UA will continue to push Nike with respect to getting top name players in.
The market for basketball shoes is stunning
Nike is well known for their basketball tie-ups with Michael Jordan still being recognised as a Nike man, and of course, the company also has LeBron James and Kobe Bryant on board. It is believed that last season, the total sales of Kevin Durant Nike shoes came in at $175m, which meant he was second only to LeBron James in active player wear, and he accounted for around 4% of the total basketball shoe market. LeBron James can account for around $300m worth of sales in the previous season, so he is clearly the market leader but Nike know that they are on to a safe bet if they convince Durant to stick around with them.
Under Armour will be annoyed at missing out on Durant, but it is not as if this will deter them from going after other top players, and of course, the basketball sneaker market. The firm has been involved in the sector for more than 4 years, and they have made significant gains in this time.
The Nike deal will provide Durant with more money than what he currently earns from his team, but you can rest assured that he will be earning a significant amount of money each year all in. There is also the fact that once the 2016 season concludes, Durant is in line to become the most highly regarded free agent with no restrictions since LeBron James.