The meteroic rise of Damian Lillard continued on Monday when adidas announced a “long-term partnership extension,” following weeks of speculation after it was revealed he was able to opt out of his deal to become a sneaker free agent when he reached certain incentives in his initial contract. The eight-year extension, with options and incentives that could push it to 10 years, features figures — while not released publicly — that are said to dwarf everyone but LeBron James’ Nike deal and Derrick Rose‘s own deal with adidas.
“adidas has been great to me over my first two seasons,” said Lillard in a press release. “I’ve had the opportunity to wear a lot of great product, help design special versions of shoes, be a part of TV commercials and travel the world with the brand. I’m excited for what the future holds for me and adidas.”
“Damian has proven to be not only an amazing basketball player, but a great partner, member of the community and someone who creates excitement for our products,” said Chris Grancio, adidas head of global basketball sports marketing. “His leadership and commitment to success on the court and his ability to interact and relate to fans through social media and the community make him the perfect fit to be one of the cornerstones of the adidas brand.”
Sam Amick of USA Today said the extension is smaller than James’ with Nike ($20 million per year) and brand mate Derrick Rose with adidas (13 years, $185 million):
While the exact figures of the eight-year deal were not immediately known, a person with knowledge of the contract said it is smaller only than that of Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (reportedly $185 million over 13 years with Adidas) and the Miami Heat’s LeBron James (reportedly $20 million annually with Nike) among NBA players. If certain incentives are met, the deal could extend to 10 years. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the financial terms are not typically disclosed.
Those figures match what sources tell Brian Windhorst and Darren Rovel of ESPN, who speculate the deal could be close to $100 million over the length of the deal:
The deal, which can extend to 10 years, could be worth up to $100 million including incentives and options, sources told ESPN.com. It’s believed to be the largest shoe deal since Derrick Rose signed a 13-year deal in 2012 that could be worth more than $185 million. LeBron James and Kevin Durant, both of whom are with Nike, are the highest-earning active players when it comes to shoe endorsements.
Lillard was the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year, and made his first all-star team this season, where he competed in all five events in New Orleans. The Blazers are back in the playoffs this season, and they’re currently in a race with the Rockets for home-court advantage in the first round.
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