USA Today's Sam Amick and Jeff Zillgitt first had the news, noting that the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NBA draft also wore Adidas at Kansas. He joins other NBA stars such as Dwight Howard, Derrick Rose, Damian Lillard, John Wall, Tim Duncan and Joakim Noah already representing the shoe and apparel company.
Michael Ehrlich, Adidas' public relations manager, later confirmed the endorsement:
ESPN's Darren Rovell provided some details of the contract:
Andrew Wiggins shoe deal with adidas is worth about $2M a year. Slighly short of the $14M-$18M projections made last year.— darren rovell (@darrenrovell) July 9, 2014
Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears talks more about the money involved:
To clarify, sources said Cavaliers rookie Andrew Wiggins' deal with Adidas is in the five-year, $12-$13 mill range.It's more than Nike offer— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 9, 2014
That would be a massive drop in expected value. Back in October, Bleacher Report's Jared Zwerling cited sources saying Adidas was targeting Wiggins for up to $180 million for 10 years.
A source from Under Armour, via Zwerling, talked about Wiggins' immense appeal:
Everybody is excited about (Wiggins') talent. From everything you see or hear, he's the next kid coming into the NBA that's going to demand, on talent alone, a significant amount from a brand. That type of commitment and interest for a rookie has really died down since LeBron and maybe Kevin Durant being the last one.
Of course, those rumors may still prove to be accurate. According to Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears, the deal may be a bit more hefty than Rovell reported:
Andrew Wiggins' new Adidas shoe contract is the most for a rookie with the shoe company, a source said.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 9, 2014
Either way, don't underestimate the importance of this deal from Adidas' perspective.
The Score's Blake Murphy put it simply:
adidas lands Wiggins (per @JeffZillgitt). That could be a huge get.— Blake Murphy (@BlakeMurphyODC) July 9, 2014
Wiggins was selected first in a stacked draft. He has all-world talent on both sides of the court. As one of the most hyped players coming out of high school in several years, his popularity has continued to soar. He's from Canada, so there is international marketing potential there as well.
How much should Wiggins' endorsement be worth annually?
This is a move that should only further spawn the growth of Adidas, which was ranked behind only Nike and ESPN on a Forbes list of the world's most valuable sports brands.
Of course, at the same time, Nike, which boasts a roster of LeBron James, Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant, won't exactly be losing any sleep over this.
As for Wiggins, no matter the ultimate price tag, this is just another example that even though he has yet to step onto an NBA court, the international star will be extremely important to basketball as a business.