Best Foot Forward: Adidas Signs Jarrett Culver Ahead Of NBA Draft
NBA Draft prospect and potential top-5 pick Jarrett Culver has "signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Adidas," ahead of tonight's Draft, according to Emily Caron of SI.com. The Texas Tech product becomes the second top prospect to announce a shoe deal, as Ja Morant last month signed with Nike (SI.com, 6/19). Culver also has an apparel deal with Express, and there are several Express billboards featuring Culver in Times Square. He said, "Seeing yourself on a billboard is something I would never have imagined. It's a moment I will never forget for the rest of my life." Meanwhile, he said of Draft night outfit will be "something that represents me." Culver: "It's something that I would love for people to see. It shows who I am." ("We Need To Talk," CBSSN, 6/18).
WORKING ON THE BANK SHOT: BNN BLOOMBERG's Shane McNeil reported top Draft prospect R.J. Barrett has signed a multiyear deal with RBC, joining a "stable of Canadian athletes already signed on with the bank" such as golfer Brooke Henderson and Gold Medal-winning swimmer Penny Oleksiak. Barrett, who is expected to go in the top 3 tonight, is "expected to be a key figure in the future of Canadian basketball on the international stage." The Olympics "are a key sponsorship initiative" for RBC (BNN BLOOMBERG, 6/18). Barrett also has signed a multiyear deal with fashion company Indochino, but ESPN's Jay Williams reports Barrett has not signed a shoe deal yet because his camp wants to "solidify the market in which they're going to play in" ("Get Up," ESPN, 6/20).
NIGHT OF FIRSTS: Japan-based Nissin Foods signed Draft prospect Rui Hachimura to a multiyear global partnership, marking the first time the brand has aligned with a basketball player. Hachimura is set to potentially become the first Japanese player to be selected in the Draft. Nissin also currently sponsors tennis players Naomi Osaka and Kei Nishikori (Nissin).