LeBron James got his first endorsement contract with Nike when he was a high school senior in 2003.
Now, the Wall Street Journal is reporting James just signed the deal of a lifetime — literally.
“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 of the 30-year-old Cleveland Cavaliers player.
James, a four-time MVP of the National Basketball Association, wasn’t immediately available to comment on the lifetime endorsement contract.
James’s signature shoes have been a best seller for Nike, despite sky-high price tags.
During the 2013-2014 season, the source of some distaste to James himself when he wore the latest model on the court.
In recent weeks, some retail and sportswear-industry experts have noticed a slowdown in demand for James’s shoes, as signature sneakers for younger players like Kyrie Irving and Stephen Curry have picked up traction.
“LeBron’s shoes have always been bigger and bulkier than the others, so it’s hard for a young kid to want to wear that big shoe, and convince his mother to spend US$200, when he can get Steph’s shoe for US$60 less,” said Josh Luber, founder of the secondary-market sneaker tracker Campless.
Still, James has shown his marketing appeal beyond basketball, signing deals with Kia Motors and forming a media-production partnership with Time Warner Inc.’s Warner Bros. Entertainment.
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