Adidas, Nike To Battle For Wiggins' Endorsement, With 10-Year Deal Possible
The endorsement market for Kansas F Andrew Wiggins when he joins the NBA "could be bigger than it was" for Heat F LeBron James as a rookie, according to Jared Zwerling of BLEACHER REPORT. Sole Collector magazine Editor-in-Chief Nick DePaula said that next year will "present a special class of sneaker free agents, as the Nike contracts" of Thunder F Kevin Durant, Cavaliers G Kyrie Irving and Pacers F Paul George are expiring. Wiggins, the projected top pick in the '14 NBA Draft, "could steal the thunder from everyone." Sources said that adidas has "pegged Wiggins as their prime target -- and they would be willing to open up the bank for him." A source said of a possible adidas offer, "I've heard a range for sure, from like $140 to $180 million for like 10 years. That's a big deal for a kid coming out of school because most rookie deals are probably like four years." Zwerling wrote there is "no question" Nike "will place a bid for Wiggins." What could stand in the way of Nike "shelling out big bucks for Wiggins are the hefty contracts" of James, Durant and Lakers G Kobe Bryant. adidas has the "upper hand" in pursuing Wiggins "because they sponsor Kansas, so the company's reps can be in direct contact with him and outfit him with customized game sneakers during the season." While adidas will face the "temptation to spend money on him is there, they already have" Bulls G Derrick Rose "locked into a 13-year deal worth at least $185 million, signed last year." The company also "has to factor in" its long-term marketing plan for Rockets C Dwight Howard, T'Wolves G Ricky Rubio and Wizards G John Wall." A source said that "'it's fair to say' that Under Armour would not be interested in Wiggins if the financial figures were in the 10-year, $140 million or higher range" (BLEACHERREPORT.com, 10/15).