Remember, in the days after Duke superstar Zion Williamson was injured when his Nike shoe blew out, that I said he would get a huge deal from them because, well, Nike couldn’t let anyone else sign him, and those other sneaker brands would be crazy not to drive up his price.
Well, man, did they drive it?
Because the Number 1 overall pick in the 2019 NBA draft announced yesterday that he has signed an endorsement deal with Nike’s Jordan Brand and—while exact terms of the deal were not disclosed— Forbes magazine reports the deal to be worth seven years and $75 million.
That $75-million value makes it the largest guarantee received by an NBA rookie since some kid named LeBron James, who got $90-million from Nike out of high school in 2003.
“I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the Jordan Brand family,” Williamson said. “Since I was a kid, I dreamed of making it to the league and having the type of impact on the game Michael Jordan had and continues to have today. He was one of those special athletes I looked up to, and I really can’t express how happy and excited I am for this journey.”
Added “his Airness” Michael Jordan himself: “Zion’s incredible determination, character, and play are inspiring. He’s an essential part of the new talent that will help lead the brand into the future. He told us he would ‘shock the world,’ and asked us to believe him. We do.”
Yeah, but he meant the NBA world; he just shocked the world of finance.