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Volume 26 No. 47
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Adidas' Deal With Lakers' Ingram, Other Top Rookies Shows Shift In Strategy For Brand

Lakers F Brandon Ingram's deal with adidas is for five years and worth $2M annually, and the "escalating numbers and bold offers made to incoming rookies represent a shift in strategy" for the brand, according to Nick DePaula of THE VERTICAL. adidas' 11-year, $400M NBA uniform partnership "ends after this season, and the brand is using those resources to sign more young players." adidas ultimately signed six of the top 10 picks in this year's Draft, including T'Wolves G Kris Dunn, Celtics F Jaylen Brown, Suns F Dragan Bender, Nuggets G Jamal Murray and Bucks F Thon Maker. Should Ingram be "selected for the Rising Stars Challenge, make the playoffs or make the All-Star Game, a series of bonus triggers can increase the value of the deal." Ingram's deal was negotiated by his agent, Excel Sports Management Founder & President Jeff Schwartz. In addition to adidas’ "renewed focus on players, there’s no underestimating the influence of its celebrity partnerships" with Kanye West and Pharrell Williams. Ingram: "When guys first hear about an adidas contract, that’s the first thing they bring you, is Yeezys. He has a big impact on adidas." DePaula noted Ingram is among several young players "helping to lead the brand’s new Crazy Light Boost 2016 sneaker." The shoe was designed by a young designer, 22-year-old Nick Daiber, and is a shift as the company looks to "refresh and revamp the design language of its shoes." The brand has given Ingram "several custom versions of the new team shoe in Laker hues, with 'BI' and '14' along the tongue." adidas Senior Dir of Basketball Sports Marketing Michael Ladinig said that Ingram and his rookie classmates "will have a chance to get out of the elevated team shoes and potentially earn signature shoes" (SPORTS.YAHOO.com, 11/28).