Adidas is landing the new face (and beard) of the company, as Nike is unwilling to match the huge offer its competitor made to Houston Rockets superstar James Harden.
ESPN.com's Darren Rovell first reported Aug. 3 that Adidas offered Harden a 13-year, $200 million deal in an effort to pry him away from Nike. According to TMZ, Nike won't get into a bidding war with Adidas over the three-time All-Star's endorsement.
That report was confirmed by Rovell on Aug. 12, who noted the superstar would join Adidas on Oct. 1. Zach Harper of CBS Sports provided the official statement on the deal:
Per NBA on ESPN, citing data from Forbes.com, the deal will put Harden among the NBA's elite with regard to endorsement dollars:
After news of the offer initially broke, Adidas spokesman Michael Ehrlich commented in a statement on Adidas' decision to make an aggressive play for the MVP runner-up, according to Rovell:
We've invited James Harden to join Adidas. We're a brand of creators and he truly embodies what that means with his approach to the game, his look and his style on and off the court. He's coming off a historic season where he won the scoring title and was voted MVP by his peers. His connection with fans is unparalleled and unprecedented and he can take the game, our brand and the industry to new heights.
While it is a pricey move for Adidas, it is a much-needed one considering its current standing in the shoe market, per Rovell:
Although missing out on a spokesman of Harden's caliber is far from ideal from Nike's perspective, it is a bigger gain for Adidas than it is a loss for Nike.
Adidas has taken the approach of rolling the dice on younger talent. It seems like a smart gamble to get Harden, who has developed into one of the most dominant offensive players in basketball.
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