LeBron James’ Nike Contract Has the Potential to Exceed $1 Billion in Value

LeBron James is one of three NBA players with a lifetime contract with Nike. James has been with the shoe giant since before he entered the league in 2003. “The King” went on to become one of the greatest basketball players of all time and his shoes are among the top sellers every year.

According to ESPN’s Darren Rovell, James signed a lifetime deal with Nike back in 2015. It was considered the largest single-athlete guarantee in the shoe company’s history. He was just the second NBA superstar to have such deal following Michael Jordan.

“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 regarding James’ lifetime deal. “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.”

Details about LeBron James’ Nike contract were all over the place, with some reports noting that it was not below $500 million, while others said that it could be upwards of $1 billion. As for his annual pay from Nike, Cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon reported that it was “multiple times” higher than $30 million.

“I’m very humble, man,” James said about his contract. “It’s been an unbelievable time for myself and my family. And I’m just grateful that Nike and 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.”

James first signed with Nike back in 2003. He agreed to a seven-year, $90 million contract. The company gambled on an 18-year-old high school star and it definitely paid off for both sides. Nike remains the top shoe company in the world, while James has been the face of the NBA for more than a decade now.


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