Adidas Offering James Harden $200 Million Endorsement Contract
By Mark Lelinwalla
Adidas watched Under Armour sign Stephen Curry to an endorsement deal in October 2013 and Nike swoop up Kevin Durant on a 10-year contract extension worth up to $300 million last August.
But the company doesn't want to watch yet another NBA superstar sign with one of its competitors. That's why, as James Harden's endorsement deal with Nike recently expired, Adidas offered the Houston Rockets All-Star shooting guard a $200 million contract over the next 13 years.
To put the magnitude of the offer in perspective, Adidas paid the NBA half of that amount to be the league's official uniform supplier over the past 11 seasons, according to ESPN. Nike will reportedly have until the end of next week to match Harden's offer or risk losing him to Adidas. The swoosh notoriously matched Durant's offer from Under Armour in August 2014 during the 11th hour to keep him with the company. Now, Harden will find out just how much Nike wants to retain his services as well.
In offering Harden $200 million, Adidas is banking on the All-Star shooting guard and 2015 NBA MVP runner-up to be the face of the brand on the basketball side. Signing Derrick Rose to a mammoth $185 million deal in 2012 hasn't had the impact that Adidas aimed for, with the Chicago Bulls star and 2011 NBA MVP suffering repeated knee injuries during the past few years. In addition, Adidas' sales of signature shoes from the likes of John Wall and Damian Lillard haven't sold as well as their Nike counterparts.
There's no doubting Harden, who will turn 26 later this month, as a Top-5 player in the NBA. The Rockets' shooting guard posted career highs of 27.4 points, seven assists and 5.7 rebounds per game, leading Houston to a 56-win season and appearance in the Western Conference Finals.
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