Nike just signed LeBron James to a lifetime deal for significantly more than $500 million. It’s the first the Oregon-based company has made of its kind and is sure to yield products that satisfy all of your lifestyle needs. While the nature of the deal or the financial gain for either party hasn’t been made public, some exciting things have to be on the horizon. As LeBron continues to build a brand bigger than his NBA persona, his number of endorsement deals have risen as well.
Here are all of LeBron’s huge deals, including some he’s probably forgotten about.
Nike signed LeBron right after he graduated high school. The tale was the subject of the Sole Man 30 for 30. He initially signed a $100 million deal, which was updated with the lifetime extension a few days ago. The numbers haven’t been released, but it’s safe to assume Nike’s new partnership will take care of the James family for several lifetimes. Many thought his Nike deal was a bust in terms of shoe design, but after the LeBron VI was a hit, he’s been on a roll ever since.
Can Shaq really fit in a Buick? Can LeBron really fit in the Kia? Remember – he did drive a Hummer H2 in high school. But in an attempt to double down on his love for the car, Kia recently released a few new commercials starring the 6’8 athlete. In the ad, LeBron claims he really does drive a Kia K900. However, when his statements are accompanied by a sketchy moustache and a turtleneck, it may be hard to believe.
Beats By Dre
LeBron really cashed out with this one. Similar to Dr. Dre, he owned a minority stake in Beats By Dre and when the company was sold just under a year ago to Apple, he caked up. When all was said and done, LeBron is said to have made upwards of $30 million. That’s gotta be music to his ears, and it isn’t even counting the many royalty checks he cashed. In comparison, he only made $19 million a year in his Miami Heat contract. You know, ONLY $19 million. It also had to be a bit awkward supporting both Samsung and Apple.
If Sprite is good enough for Drake, then it’s good enough for Bron Bron. And who knows, it may even help with those crazy cramps he gets at the most inopportune times. Since signing the deal, LeBron has been in several commercials and campaigns. Over this past summer, he even got his own flavor of Sprite. Deemed LeBron’s Mix, it had a splash of natural cherry and orange flavors. Even the packaging featured a gold crown for the King, with a burgundy base. Go Cavs!
Back in 2003 when LeBron was fresh out of high school (and still had a hairline), he signed a deal with the legendary trading card company Upper Deck. At the time, the deal was said to be on par with Tiger Woods’, which included a $1 million signing bonus and over $90 million in total. LeBron signed this contract days after graduating. Sounds like an amazing gift, not to mention the fact that he went number one in the NBA Draft just a month later.
In case you forgot, Apple isn’t the only company that makes smartphones. LeBron James may have forgotten too, as he reportedly gave his teammates Apple Watches last season, but I digress. LeBron’s Samsung deal is said to be worth $100 million, but that didn’t stop him from tweeting about that time his Galaxy Note 2 rebooted and deleted all of his information. Welp.
The King’s endorsement was destined; he was a McDonald’s All-American back in high school. In 2010, LeBron signed a deal with the Golden Arches for an undisclosed amount. But after not appearing in a TV spot for a year, it’s no surprise the partnership ended in October.
After leaving McDonald’s, LeBron signed a deal with…Blaze Pizza? People raised their eyebrows at the nature of the decision, but as details emerged, it made more sense. He’d been somewhat of a silent partner in the fast-casual chain, and was ready to take on the reigns as spokesperson. Rick Wetzel, cofounder of Blaze, hopes it’ll be bigger than Chipotle, and become as well-known as Starbucks. Having LeBron on his team may make that mountain a bit easier to climb.
And here’s the wild card entry. Tencent is the largest internet provider in China and hired the future NBA Hall Of Famer to promote the Chinese version of NBA2K. The agreement will also allow Tencent to create official LeBron social networking accounts in China. The deal shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, as year over year his jersey and sneaker sales top all others in the country.