Kevin Durant Sticks With Nike

The NBA player commits to the swoosh once again.

Under Armour lost its bid for Kevin Durant over Labor Day Weekend.

On Aug. 31, the Oklahoma City Thunder star tweeted:

“Excited and humbled to sign back with the swoosh!”

Durant, whose previous 10-year contract with Nike expired on Sunday, turned down an offer worth between $265 million and $285 million from Baltimore-based Under Armour, which had been courting the athlete this summer.

Exercising its right to match any rival offers, Nike offered Durant a 10-year deal, which some speculate has the ability to reach $300 million over the course of the decade.

“Signing someone isn’t the story, keeping someone is,” said Robert Passikoff, founder of Brand Keys Inc., of the deal. “We work on the assumption that Nike plus Kevin Durant equals more than the sum of its parts, but there’s a negative multiplier effect when someone moves from one brand to another.”

“There are 300 million obvious reasons why this is great for Durant, yet from a marketing perspective it signifies continuity in his brand image, which is good for his fans,” said Richard Prenderville, CEO of The Peloton Marketing Group.

“From the Nike perspective, it is good on many fronts,” Prenderville added. “They have tied up the three greatest players currently on the court, and own the game without a costly and rigid NBA sponsorship. Furthermore, you would have to be 18 to 19 years old to have any viable memories of Jordan on the court; Nike needs to fill that role regardless of the success of the Air Jordan brand.”

The Durant-Nike deal comes after Under Armour unveiled its largest women’s campaign, starring ballerina Misty Copeland, earlier this summer.

“[For Under Armor], this is potentially devastating,” Prenderville said. “Positioned as the ultimate team sports brand, [the brand] has lost this very public auction — where do they go now?”  

Passikoff agreed, adding “[Brands are] all looking to add some sort of value, some differentiation — to borrow equity from someone else.”

Durant is signed with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports, which negotiated the agreement with Nike.

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