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Volume 26 No. 178
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Sneaker Companies Expected To Line Up For Heat's Jimmy Butler

Butler and Jordan Brand mutually agreed to part ways 10 months prior to the deal's expiration date
Photo: getty images
Butler and Jordan Brand mutually agreed to part ways 10 months prior to the deal's expiration date
Photo: getty images
Butler and Jordan Brand mutually agreed to part ways 10 months prior to the deal's expiration date
Photo: getty images

Sneaker brands are "expected to take strong interest" in signing Heat F Jimmy Butler to be a featured endorser following his split with Jordan Brand, according to sources cited by Nick DePaula of ESPN.com. Sources said that Butler and Jordan Brand on Thursday "mutually agreed to part ways, bringing Butler's multiyear footwear and apparel endorsement deal with the company to an end 10 months before its original Sept. 30, 2020, expiration date." DePaula noted Butler now becomes the "highest-profile sneaker free agent" across the NBA. Butler after being drafted in '11 had initially signed a shoe deal with Adidas. Three seasons later, he "took a reported 75% pay cut to instead sign with Jordan Brand." He was then "incorporated into global campaigns." In the past two years, both Puma and New Balance have "looked to sign All-Star-level and emerging players as part of their relaunch efforts in the NBA and in releasing new basketball sneakers" (ESPN.com, 1/2).