It’s Nike for life for LeBron James, who has signed a lifetime deal with the sportswear brand — the largest single-athlete guarantee in company history, reports ESPN.
“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,” Nike said in a statement.
Nike did not divulge financial details, but it’s believed to be the first lifetime deal in the company’s 44-year history. However, sources tell ESPN the deal easily surpasses the 10-year, $300 million deal Kevin Durant signed last summer.
“I’m very humble, man,” James told reporters this week. “It’s been an unbelievable time for myself and my family, and I’m just grateful that Nike and [Nike founder] 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.”
Other companies have negotiated lifetime deals. ESPN notes that Adidas has structured a deal with Bulls star Derrick Rose and soccer great David Beckham, while Reebok has a lifetime deal with retired NBA icon, Allen Iverson.
Throughout his history with Nike, the brand has made 13 versions of James’ signature shoe. Annual sales in 2015 for his line are estimated to top $400 million.