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  1. #1

    Post lebron james 75 million+ shoe contract???

    Tuesday, May 20

    Agent: 'It's still a three-horse race'

    By Darren Rovell

    Michael Jordan signed his first endorsement deal in 1985, a five-year agreement to wear Nike shoes and apparel that was worth a then-astounding $500,000 a year. In the coming days before the NBA's draft lottery, LeBron James, 18 years old and the projected first pick in the June 26 draft, is expected to sign a contract that could be worth more than $10 million annually.

    James' agent, Aaron Goodwin, said he has been working around the clock to get a deal done, at least in principle, with one of three high-profile shoe and apparel companies -- adidas, Nike or Reebok -- before the NBA's draft order is determined on Thursday.

    It's still a three-horse race. I have appointments to talk to all three companies today and there is no clear leader.
    Agent Aaron Goodwin on negotiating endorsement deals for LeBron James

    The Akron Beacon-Journal, quoting unnamed sources, reported Tuesday that Reebok has offered a lucrative, long-term endorsement deal that would pay James more than $75 million. Tom Shine, Reebok's senior vice president of global sports and entertainment, declined to comment on the status of negotiations, but one shoe industry insider told that Reebok's offer has topped $80 million. Goodwin, however, said Tuesday morning that it would be inaccurate to portray Reebok as the leader in the LeBron shoe derby.

    "It's still a three-horse race," said Goodwin, who declined to comment on the terms of any offer. "I have appointments to talk to all three companies today and there is no clear leader."

    Reebok, which only recently entered the LeBron derby after James declared for the NBA draft, made the first pitch, presenting James and his family with an inventive offer that one source said even shocked the James camp. Adidas presented its offer to James in Los Angeles and coupled its pitch with advertising on billboards and buses in his hometown of Akron, Ohio, with messages aimed at LeBron, who wore adidas during most of his high school career. The favorite, Nike, gave a well-rehearsed presentation this past weekend that company executives had been working on for months.

    All proposed deals include plans for an extensive shoe and apparel line and, as is customary with such high-profile deals these days, James likely will receive additional royalties on sales of his product above a prescribed threshold. The winner is expected to spend at least $10 million to lock up James, one insider said, with the time frame of the first contract expected to be between six and eight years, plus options to extend the deal.

    Although the total value of the James shoe and apparel contract isn't expected to surpass the record five-year, $100 million extension that Tiger Woods signed with Nike in 2000, a deal worth half that annually would be a milestone given that James has yet to play professionally. Tiger Woods received $8 million per year in his first five-year deal with Nike. Venus Williams also was awarded a shoe and apparel deal worth $8 million annually when she signed with Reebok in December 2000. Reebok pays Allen Iverson between $5 million and $7 million annually, and adidas pays Tracy McGrady about $10 million a year. At the end of 2002, Nike had about 39 percent of the U.S. athletic footwear business, Reebok was a distant second at 12 percent and adidas had 9.6 percent.

    Nike is close to wrapping up a deal with Carmelo Anthony, the former Syracuse star who could be picked among the top three in the draft, and the company also is expected to announce a deal soon with Kobe Bryant, once a penalty clause expires in Bryant's existing deal with adidas in June. European power forward Darko Milicic, also expected to go among the top three in the draft, signed a four-year contract with AND 1 last season.

    Darren Rovell, who covers sports business for, can be reached at

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  3. #2
    Where are the people now who said he's foolish for entering the NBA draft and not going to college? Oh yeah, that's right... they're too busy being slaves for $30,000 a year jobs!

  4. #3
    no doubt and the highest offer are from addidas so far, nike is looking at 75 million. This is so crazy, but in this case I wish it was me... he must be stressed out about what is he going to do with all the money, this dude can have a career ending injury (ala bosworth) the first game of his career and be set for life.

  5. #4
    I hope LeBron James fails. I can't stand him, he's broken NCAA and Ohio State High School Rules and he needs to pay. He's probably going to be screwed going into the NBA the other guys are just too good, just wait and see. Should have went to college. I would never play a pro sport.


  6. #5
    Exactly Gio and that's why you take the money now and run. He can afford 100 college degrees after the fact if he wants to go to college. Some people just have problems seeing young black men from the hood make legit money... but I don't see them demanding we go into the hood and clean up drug selling... they could care less about that.

  7. #6

  8. #7
    Originally posted by stkmtimo
    I hope LeBron James fails. I can't stand him, he's broken NCAA and Ohio State High School Rules and he needs to pay. He's probably going to be screwed going into the NBA the other guys are just too good, just wait and see. Should have went to college. I would never play a pro sport.

    Tim... they must have some good crack in NJ, don't they? This guy is going to make 12 million on his first NBA contract and 75 million on a shoe deal... that's a guaranteed 87 million dollars and you're saying he should go to college? WHY!

    ...and also, who do you think he's been playing against when he goes to these Michael Jordan camps and such... they're all pro players that he's destroying. He might not be the next Michael Jordan, but he will have a good NBA career and be rich on top of that... something going to college for 4 years couldn't give him!

  9. #8
    Mighty fine crack I must say, lol. I mean he should go to college on the side. Basketball or not, I have heard his grades aren't that great, and it's always good to learn on the side. All the power to him making that much dough.

    Not to sure he'll destroy pro players. I think he'll wind up like Kwame Brown


  10. #9
    Not to knock you Tim but I'm going to stand up for Kwame Brown here. After 2 years in people were saying the same thing about Jermaine O'Neal. I wouldn't be surprised to see Kwame come around in a year or two. The cool thing about these high school kids is that they are 19 and 20 years old in their second and third years and you can often get a steal on thier cards if they didn't kick the NBA's as a rookie.


  11. #10
    So what if LeBron ends up like a Kwame Brown right out the gate... Kwame's still 21. He still has a ton of talent... he just needs to work on a few parts of his game and put on a little more muscle. Don't give up on Kwame quite yet!

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