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Nike made a historic move on Monday as they signed LeBron James to a lifetime deal, the first in the company’s 44-year history.
The deal is believed to be the largest single athlete guarantee in Nike’s history. James has the most signature Nike sneakers since Michael Jordan and is making Nike an estimated $400 million in annual sales.
The night before he was drafted No.1 overall by the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2003, James signed a seven-year, $90 million deal with Nike which was the largest in company history at the time. Check out more details on this new deal Via ESPN:
“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.”
A company spokesperson would not say how much Nike paid. It is believed to be the first lifetime deal in the shoe and apparel company’s 44-year history.
A source close to the deal told ESPN that it easily surpasses the 10-year, $300 million deal Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant signed with the world’s largest shoe and apparel brand last summer.
“LeBron and I have been in love and obsessed with Nike since we were kids,” Maverick Carter of LRMR, James’ business partner, said Monday. “Having built a totally innovative, global business with them has truly been a dream come true. We are so excited to be taking the business to an entirely new level. For LeBron, he’s thrilled to know he’s a Nike guy for life.”
Carter will manage the deal for James, which was negotiated by Paul Wachter of Main Street Advisers, who also negotiated the deal for John Henry to buy the Red Sox in 2002 and represented Beats By Dre in its $3 billion sale to Apple last May.