In his second season in the NBA, the Portland Trailblazers all-star point guard Damian Lillard has made a positive impact in the league and the sport apparel and shoe designer Adidas noticed his accomplishments by resigning him to a very profitable endorsement contract.
On Monday, reports surfaced that Adidas made Lillard the recipient of the third largest shoe deal in the NBA, a reported eight-year that is worth over $100 million. Adidas head of global basketball sport marketing Chris Grancio called Lillard “one of the cornerstones of the Adidas brand.”
From USA Today Sports:
Damian Lillard’s banner year continued Monday, when the second-year Portland Trail Blazers point guard finalized a new shoe contract with Adidas that is believed to be among the most lucrative of any player in the NBA.
While the exact figures of the deal were not immediately known, a person with knowledge of the contract said it is smaller only than that of Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (reportedly $185 million over 13 years with Adidas) and the Miami Heat’s LeBron James (reportedly $20 million annually with Nike) among NBA players. THe person spoke on the conditions of anonymity because the financial terms are not typically disclosed.
The structure of Lillard’s previous deal was such that he could opt out and renegotiate at this early juncture of his fast-track career. Adidas would have had serious competition if they waited any longer, as their window to have exclusive negotiating rights with Lillard’s agent, Aaron Goodwin of Goodwin Sports Management, recently ended and Nike as well as the Jordan Brand were known to be very interested in luring Lillard away.
With rookie salaries now slotted and second-contract maximums more restrictive, marketing opportunities can represent a huge portion of income for young players.
Obviously, Adidas found Lillard’s determination on the court and high-profile very attractive; not only is the sophomore NBA player the reigning Rookie of the Year that is helping lead a playoff-bound Blazers team, he made the most of the 2014 All-Star weekend in New Orleans when it came to bettering his personal brand, becoming the first player in league history to take part in five events, With the sports apparel franchise’s flag-ship player, Rose, injured for the past two seasons, Lillard could move up and be “the guy” for the company.
Adidas didn’t waste time putting Lillard in the limelight. After solidifying the multi-year contract on Monday, Adidas released their latest commercial in partnership with Foot Locker, featuring Lillard and a cast of sports legends Tuesday morning.