The Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard may only be in his second season in the NBA, but he has quickly become one of the league's most marketable players. He is already a member of the Adidas team, but the company decided to make sure that he stayed with it for years to come.
On April 14, Adidas announced that it had reached a long-term extension with Lillard. Earlier this year, it was reported that the point guard would opt out of his deal with Adidas and become a shoe free agent. That news put pressure on the company to find a way to keep Lillard.
Lillard confirmed the news:
Adidas head of global basketball sports marketing Chris Grancio highlighted why the company decided to make the move:
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. 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.
Obviously, any company would be thrilled to be able to sign one of the NBA's rising stars to a long-term agreement. Adidas was fortunate enough to be able to keep one of its own and have the 23-year-old become one of the company's faces for years to come.
Lillard spoke about his decision to remain with the company:
adidas has been great to me over my first two seasons. 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.
Adidas announced that it had signed the star, but it didn't release any of the financial details. However, USA Today Sports' Sam Amick reported that the deal will be third-largest shoe endorsement deal ever. CSNWW.com's Chris Haynes shared some of the reported details of the deal:
The deal, according to another source, is an eight-year contract that has the potential to stretch out to 10 years if he reaches certain incentive clauses. We’ve confirmed Lillard’s new contract is slightly less than that of Derrick Rose.
ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst and Darren Rovell reported that the deal could be worth up to $100 million over 10 years with all of the incentives and options.
The Chicago Bulls' Rose reportedly makes $185 million over his 13-year deal with Adidas, and the Miami Heat's LeBron James reportedly makes $20 million per year with Nike.
Lillard's original deal had a clause that allowed him to opt out after this season. With the chance that he could try to land a deal with a competitor, Adidas acted quickly and locked him up to a reportedly huge deal.