Swish + swoosh = cha-ching.
LeBron James signed a your-money-and-your-life deal with Nike on Monday.
The agreement gives the Cavaliers forward an awful lot of money in exchange for his name and likeness for the rest of his life. Neither Nike nor King James released a monetary figure. But ESPN reports that it greatly exceeds the 10-year, $300 million contract Kevin Durant signed with the Oregon-based company last year.
“I don’t want to go nowhere else,” James told reporters. “I’m Nike and swoosh for the rest of my life.”
The agreement stands as the first lifetime deal in the 51-year history of the company. James signed a seven-year, $93 million deal with Nike fresh from high school. This permanent arrangement makes for his third contract with the company.
“We can confirm that we have agreed to a lifetime relationship with LeBron that provides significant value to our business, brand and shareholders,” Nike announced 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.”
Sneakers do more than $25 billion worth of business each year in America. Nike, with stars past and present such as Michael Jordan, James Harden, and Kobe Bryant peddling the brand, enjoys a near monopoly on the market for basketball shoes. Adidas, boasting such endorsers as Derrick Rose and Tim Duncan, and Under Armour, worn by Steph Curry, round out the industry’s big three.
“I’m just playing the game that I love and I’ll do anything for,” the 31-year-old reflected. “And some of the benefits that’s coming with it is the humbling side. It’s the blessed side. All the stuff, I will never forget or downplay what has gotten me to this point and it’s the basketball. The game. And I’ve treated it with so much respect. I give everything to the game and everything that comes to me, I treat it with so much dignity and honor.”