Nike has been supporting basketball giant LeBron James all throughout his career with their partnership and contract that has been hugely successful for both the parties.
This long and fruitful collaboration has led to the multinational corporation is to call an important building in their Beaverton campus after the professional basketball player. Way to go, right?
Officially to be inaugurated as “The LeBron James Building,” the structure will be home to Nike’s Advanced Innovation team, a training pitch, an NBA style ball court, a research lab, a 100 meters long straightway, and a track 200 meters long. Before starting his career in the NBA, LeBron had options to sign with Reebok, Adidas and Nike, in that order.
Reebok had two conditions: that he sign with Reebok and not engage in business conversations with competitors Adidas or Nike. Adidas had a deal but at the last minute their top brass had qualms about committing huge funds over a long period during which returns might not be justified.Nike was the right fit and had the right product at the right time, and James signed a letter of intent on May 22, 2003. Nike was a good company committed to supporting him throughout his professional career, on and off the court. The deal with Nike was worth $90 million, and a $10 million as signing bonus. Nike signed Jordan 1984 for $2.5 million (paid over the coming five years.) Shaquille O’Neal was signed on by Reebok in 1992, for a reported $3 million. Iverson signed for 10 years in 1996, and $50 million with Reebok. Adidas signed Bryant in 1997 for $5 million and even clinched a 6-year commitment from McGrady for $12 million. Before even playing in the NBA, James had gotten himself a deal that was worth more than all of the initial contracts landed by the five League Champions All-Stars, and MVPs, combined!
LeBron could not contain his excitement and used the social media to share the awesome news about the honour and recognition! The NBA superstar had cause for celebration and reminded his fans about living as an only child in city projects, brought up by a single mom, with all odds stacked against him. Statistically, there was just no chance of his success or even remaining alive, to talk about his past. Having got out and become a star, the Nike building is his eternal legacy and a success story as his building would host a research lab and that all Nike products would be manufactured and tested inside a building named after him.
AN OUTSTANDING CAREER
In a long Instagram post, he sincerely thanked Nike for trusting him many years ago. It was quite the journey, partnering LeBron at just 18. Now 34, a husband and a father, LeBron remains a force on the basketball court and the LeBron-Nike relationship has been rewarding for both as the athlete became a superstar due to the interest the Corporation showed in him. Nike is renowned for locating the best talent, and having singled him out, the sporting world really noticed him even though he was being called ‘The Chosen One.’ To attract and retain these big corporation’s attention, one must be superbly superlative. Nike was the right stepping stone which LeBron needed to step up his game and concentrate on delivering his best.