His hairline (which magically reappeared this season) and mustache may lead you to believe that LeBron James is much older than he is. The Cleveland Cavaliers superstar only turns 31 on December 30, but thanks to a new deal he will be wearing Nikes up until his dying day.
ESPN reported that James agreed to a lifetime endorsement deal with Nike that is said to be the biggest deal for an individual athlete in the history of the brand.
Nike did not release details, but it is expected to make the 10-year, $300-million contract that Kevin Durant signed with the Swoosh two summers ago look like lunch money.
In a statement, Nike said, “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.”
LeBron was humbled by the news, telling reporters after practice on Monday, “I’m just grateful that Nike and [Nike founder] Phil Knight and everyone over there just believed in a skinny 18-year-old kid from Akron, Ohio.” Nike first signed LeBron out of high school to a $90 million deal in 2003. At the time it was the most money the company had paid to an athlete.
With the agreement, LeBron becomes the first person to have a lifetime contract with Nike. Adidas has signed Derrick Rose to a lifetime deal and Reebok has a similar arrangement with Allen Iverson.