James Harden’s career has taken off and the money is catching up! Homie just signed a $200 million deal with Adidas
Nike is firmly established as the dominant shoe and apparel company in basketball, holding long-running endorsement deals with arguably the three most globally popular active or former players in the world (LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, and Michael Jordan). Such power allows the company to make decisions others wouldn’t — like, say, allowing MVP runner-up and All-NBA mainstay James Harden to bolt for a rival without much fuss. Rumors and reports have circulated for weeks that the Houston Rockets star would join Adidas on a 13-year deal worth $200 million, a massive contract that would see the nearly 26-year-old Harden rep the three stripes throughout his prime and possibly even into retirement.
That news became official on Thursday as Harden and Adidas announced their deal under the reported terms. Nike had the option to match the deal but declined. From the Adidas press release (via SneakerNews.com):
adidas today announced an unprecedented partnership with superstar shooting guard James Harden of the Houston Rockets. One of the league’s most prolific scorers and recognizable players begins the long-term deal with adidas which includes an exclusive signature collection, product design collaboration and marketing involvement beginning October 1.
“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,” said Chris Grancio, adidas Global Basketball General Manager. “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.”
“We have a lot of energy in basketball right now and James takes that momentum to a whole new level,” Grancio continued. “James isn’t like anyone else. He approaches the game with a unique mentality and strives to go against convention. When he signed with the Rockets he moved from being the sixth man to the lead man, proving his willingness to establish himself as a resounding superstar.”
To begin the partnership, Harden will play a leading role in adidas’ global brand campaign which will coincide with the start of the NBA season. He will play a critical role with adidas to create and develop on and off-court signature footwear and apparel collections as well as marketing plans. The partnership also includes Harden traveling on extensive brand tours in Europe and Asia.