Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James has signed a lifetime deal with Nike, Beaverton, Ore., that is supposedly the largest single-athlete guarantee in company history, according to multiple media reports.
Details of the deal have not been released but according to a USA Today source, it’s worth significantly more than the $500 million that has been widely reported, and more than $30 million per year.
If the reports are true, the deal would shatter Nike’s deal with Kevin Durant, which is for 10 years and $300 million.
“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.”
This is the first lifetime deal Nike has ever announced. The company signed James to an endorsement deal after he turned pro out of high school in 2003. His first contract was for seven years and was worth $93 million, and included a seven-year extension in 2010, according to Bloomberg. Nike has released at least 13 versions of James’ signature shoes.
“I’m very humble, man,” James recently told reporters. “It’s been an unbelievable time for myself and my family, and I’m just grateful that Nike and [Nike founder] Phil Knight and everyone over there just believed in a skinny-old, skinny 18-year-old kid from Akron, Ohio, and I’m happy to be a part of such a great company.”
For more information, visit nike.com. — J.B.