Report: Under Armour offering Durant 10-year endorsement deal worth $325 million

Aug 6, 10:26 PM

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant is about to become an indecently wealthy man.

This new report mirrors Frank Isola's in the New York Daily News, which cited the deal as being worth around $30 million per season.

Durant's endorsement deal with Nike is coming to an end, and Maryland-based Under Armour is hoping to pounce on the league's brightest up-and-coming star.

According to Forbes, this deal alone would make Durant the fifth-highest endorsement earning athlete on earth, trailing only golfer Tiger Woods, LeBron James, tennis star Roger Federer and golfer Phil Mickelson.

Given the enormous figure, it's hard to envision a scenario in which Durant turns down the offer. Then again, given Durant's stature, it's harder to envision a mega-conglomerate like Nike letting him slip to a competitor, regardless of the price. 

[H/T Bullets Forever]

Aug 31, 6:42 PM

Report: Kevin Durant officially signs with Nike

Aug 31, 6:42 PM

Putting an end to the summer-long blockbuster bidding war over one Kevin Durant, the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar has reportedly spurned Under Armour to remain with sponsor Nike for at least another 10 years: 

Terms of the deal haven't yet been revealed, but the Under Armour offer Nike has apparently trumped was rumored to be in the $265-285 million range. 

Feature photo courtesy of Reuters/Jayne Kamin-Oncea

Aug 31, 10:05 AM

Report: Kevin Durant near megadeal with Nike

Aug 31, 10:05 AM

Under Armour's deal with Kevin Durant has reportedly been matched.

According to ESPN, Nike have countered Under Armour's offer of between $265 million and $285 million with the belief that they can hold on to the reigning NBA MVP for the next 10 years. While the exact figure of Nike's offer is unknown, it's apparently more - in base and royalties - than the $41.2 million that the Oklahoma City Thunder will pay Durant over the next two seasons.

Durant was on the verge of moving to Under Armour as his seven-year, $60-million deal with Nike is expiring. Although Nike reserved the right to match Under Armour's offer, many believed that they would ultimately let him go as Nike reportedly made an initial offer of roughly $20 million per year that was far from what Under Armour is willing to pay.

However, as pointed out by analyst Omar Saad, who is a senior managing director of ISI's luxury, apparel, and footwear team and covers all the major brands on Wall Street, such an offer from Nike was inevitable.

"For Nike, this was nothing to them," Saad said. "They could easily build Durant's business enough, assuming normal margins, where they could generate a cash flow of $60 million a year. And Nike is really good at monetizing its marketing assets, way better than anyone else."

Saad also believes that Durant provides Nike with a "niche" that makes him different from LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, or the Jordan brand. His custom "KD" shoes generated $175 million at retail this past year, according to market retail tracking firm SportsOneSource, meaning business was on the rise and that Nike was left with plenty of money on the table due to the $125 cost of the shoe and the limited distribution to stores. Saad thinks that raising the price and opening up more channels "could make the deal worth it."

It's now back to the drawing board for Under Armour.

Aug 20, 6:52 PM

Report: Durant camp informs Nike deal worth more than $265M with Under Armour

Aug 20, 6:52 PM

If Nike wants to continue branding Kevin Durant, it will have to pony up.

According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, Durant's camp, led by Jay-Z's Roc Nation Sports, informed Nike that the Oklahoma City Thunder superstar has signed a $265-285 million contract with Under Armour.

The 10-year endorsement deal, however, resembles that of an NBA offer sheet; Nike will be afforded the opportunity to match the figure and keep Durant under the Nike brand, according to Rovell.

Despite the incredulous figure, Nike may be receiving a discount on its initial estimate. Multiple reports suggested that the Under Armour deal would be worth upwards of $325 million.

Feature photo courtesy of Reuters/Danny Moloshok

Aug 5, 4:58 PM

Report: Kevin Durant could earn $30 million annually to switch from Nike to Under Armour

Aug 5, 4:58 PM

According to a report from Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant could earn up to $30 million annually if he were to endorse Under Armour.

Isola notes that Durant's 7-year, $60 million deal with Nike is expiring, and the soon-to-be free-agent has a lucrative offer on the table. Durant is also reportedly in negotiations with Nike and Adidas.

Finances aside, the deal also carries NBA implications, as the CEO of Under Armour Kevin Plank has various ties to Washington Wizards owner Ted Leonsis. It's believed that the Wizards are hoping to use their hometown advantage (Durant hails from Washington D.C.) to sign him in 2016.

For his part, Durant is simply content to let his handlers manage negotiations: 

I’m just going to let my team be the ones who handle that behind the scenes, I guess. When you look at stuff like that, it’s great problems to have because people want you for what you know and do on the basketball court, the work you put in, so I’m going to continue to put my work in, let them focus on that on the other end, and we’ll come together at some point.

As a reference, the $30 million deal alone would tie Durant with tennis superstar Rafael Nadal for sixth-most in annual endorsement earnings among all professional athletes, according to figures from Forbes. Durant also has a number of other deals, most notably with Gatorade and BBVA. Only Kobe Bryant ($31 million) and LeBron James ($53 million) earn over $30 million annually from endorsements.

July 31, 10:04 AM

Kevin Durant on rising popularity: 'Just being myself;' Nike deal expires this week

July 31, 10:04 AM

LeBron James may have recently been voted the most popular male athlete in America (no word on who won "best hair" or the "most likely" categories), but that doesn't necessarily mean he's the league's most likable player.

If that sounds contradictory, it's because different measures are at play. Believe it or not, though, James is topped by one Kevin Durant when it comes to Q Score, which is a measure of familiarity and appeal. A report from the Oklahoman in February showed Durant had edged James in this measure, and ESPN confirmed on Wednesday that Durant remains atop the NBA.

Again, Durant is the league's "most-liked" player, not James.

His touching MVP speech already had advertisers flocking, but that's just fortunate fallout from a genuine moment, as Durant explained to ESPN:

I didn't do that to be marketable, to be looked at as one of the more marketable guys. Was just being myself, and, if people like (me) for me being myself, then I'm cool with it. I'm not trying to be nobody else or act a different way. I'm still a work in progress just like everybody else so I'm just going to continue to keep being who I am, and I enjoy all the partners that partner with me. I just try to do my best to represent them and do everything in authentic ways.

Those are actually pretty good words to keep in mind in life - if people like you for being you, great, and if not just be who you are anyway. Forget what the Lil B's of the world think of you.

Durant's rising popularity could have immense financial implications in short order, as Durant's deal with Nike is set to expire this week and "Under Armour...is preparing a robust offer," according to ESPN. 

For his part, Durant sounds like he's open to staying with Nike. This will mark his first major deal under Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports, and you can bet they'll want to make a splash with their highest profile client.

"Nike has been a part of me ever since I was in high school," Durant said. "I'm just going to let my team be the ones who handle that behind the scenes, I guess."