The Rockets star has finalized a 13-year, $200 million endorsement deal with Adidas after Nike chose not to match the offer.
Hopefully “The Beard” and now Khloe Kardashian can both serve as good marketing tools to help Adidas have some success in relation to James Harden.
Harden joins a roster of brand athletes that already includes the Trail Blazers’ Damian Lillard, Wizards star John Wall, Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, and Rookie of the Year Andrew Wiggins. Nike’s big four of James, Durant, Bryant, and Irving have crushed Adidas. But if Harden hits certain benchmarks, it’s possible he will earn more annually from Adidas than the Rockets. “His addition to the Adidas basketball family is a game changer”, said Chris Grancio, Adidas Global Basketball general manager, in a news release.
Harden’s agent, Rob Pelinka, confirmed with ESPN’s Darren Rovell Thursday that the MVP runner-up will be wearing the shoes and apparel in about six weeks. Now each of the aforementioned brands has one of the top selections to the 2014-15 All-NBA first team (James and Curry were unanimous selections, with Harden in a close third place). KD had his own signature shoe while Westbrook and Harden were becoming the face of the Hyperfuse and Hyperdunk, respectively. Harden and Adidas are also expected to attempt to disrupt the shoe marketplace amid underwhelming successes for the brand. His ceiling is far from reached, which tells you the future for him and our brand looks incredible.
The German company, which has its North American headquarters and basketball division in Portland, has been struggling to keep up with Nike, which combined with its Jordan brand accounts for roughly 96 percent of U.S. basketball shoe sales. Harden took a leap to superstardom last season, finishing second in MVP voting after averaging 27 points and seven assist per game and leading the Rockets to the conference finals. Unlike during the deals with Reebok and Adidas, Nike’s logo will appear on National Basketball Association game jerseys.