According to multiple reports, the Beaverton, Ore.-based athletic giant signed arguably the best current basketball player in the world to a lifetime deal. Darren Rovell of ESPN wrote via his Twitter account that the deal is the largest single-athlete deal in Nike’s history and the only lifetime deal the brand has ever offered.
The terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed.
“We can confirm that we have agreed to a lifetime relationship with LeBron that provides significant value to our business, brand and shareholders,” Nike said in a statement. “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.”
James has been a Nike-sponsored athlete since he started his career, hitting the court in 2003 in the Air Zoom Generation, his first signature shoe (though it did not have his name attached). James and Nike are now up to their 13th signature shoe together, with the LeBron 13 dropping on Oct. 10 worldwide (Oct. 1 in China) in the Written in the Stars colorway. The shoes retail for $200.
According to an ESPN report, Paul Wachter of Main Street Advisers, who represented Beats By Dre in its $3 billion sale to Apple in May, negotiated the deal between James and Nike.
The last LeBron 13 silhouette to hit stores was the Balance edition on Nov. 30, better known as Cyber Monday, featuring a soar, laser orange, total orange and white color palette.
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Nike has never before announced a lifetime deal like the one they did with James today. Assume MJ has at least a de facto one.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) December 7, 2015