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$200M to Wear Shoes? Adidas Snares Houston Rockets’ James Harden From Nike

Adidas lured Houston Rockets guard James Harden away from Nike this week with a 13-year, $200 million offer.

Harden’s agent, Rob Pelinka, reported that Nike took a pass on trying to match the offer, so his client soon laces up Adidas.

Harden has negotiated an average of $16.78 million for his final three years with the Rockets but will take in an additional $15.38 million from Adidas during that same time period. In fact, in that time he could earn more from Adidas than he might from the team if he satisfies certain provisions in his new contract with the sports-wear company.

Harden, who has been with the Houston Rockets since 2012, will have his own Adidas shoe brand as well as a clothing line, reports reveal.

Adidas hopes that adding Harden to its stable will boost iis sagging shoe sales as the company has yet to put much of a dent in Nike’s market share.

Maybe the deal with Harden is coming at the right time, too. Last September, Adidas slipped to third place, behind Nike and Under Armour, for the first time in the company’s history. Consequently, Adidas made several changes in leadership late last year and this Harden deal is one of the first big tests of that new direction.

The shoe that Harden wore exclusively, the Nike Hyperchase, sold solidly, so Adidas hopes that a Harden signature shoe might be just the ticket to reclaim its number-two spot.

In a statement released announcing the deal, Chris Grancio, Adidas global basketball general manager, said that Harden would be a “game changer” for the company.

We’re a brand of creators and James embodies that more than any athlete in the game. His addition to the Adidas basketball family is a game changer. This partnership gives him the opportunity to achieve his goals and express himself in a totally new way as a creator. He’s already one of the most recognizable sports figures because of his game, his look, his hunger to win and his style on the off the court. His ceiling is far from reached, which tells you the future for him and our brand looks incredible.

Harden, a three-time NBA All-Star, begins wearing Adidas gear on October 1.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at igcolonel@hotmail.com

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