James Harden won the Drew League for LAUNFD (Nike sponsored event) in his Zoom Run The One. He was also seen in the Hyperchase at Team USA’s mini camp. That would be the end of Nike and Harden’s partnership. Practically a signature star for three low cut models (Crusader, ZRTO, and Hyperchase), Nike chose to give their latest signature shoe to Harden. While he waited on the wings, his endorsement deal ended. adidas found the opportunity to grab a superstar and MVP runner up and offered him a huge chunk of money.
Harden allowed Nike the chance to match the deal but the Swoosh chose not to. With that, Harden’s fate was sealed as he joined the Tree Stripes. The long-term deal is approximately 13 years and worth $200 million. Harden will be seen in adidas gear until the end of his career and possibly after.
From adidas’ official press release:
PORTLAND, Ore. (August 13, 2015) – adidas today announced an unprecedented partnership with superstar shooting guard James Harden of the Houston Rockets. One of the league’s most prolific scorers and recognizable players begins the long-term deal with adidas which includes an exclusive signature collection, product design collaboration and marketing involvement beginning October 1.
“We’re a brand of creators and James embodies that more than any athlete in the game. His addition to the adidas basketball family is a game changer,” said Chris Grancio, adidas Global Basketball General Manager. “This partnership gives him the opportunity to achieve his goals and express himself in a totally new way as a creator. He’s already one of the most recognizable sports figures because of his game, his look, his hunger to win and his style on the off the court. His ceiling is far from reached, which tells you the future for him and our brand looks incredible.”
“We have a lot of energy in basketball right now and James takes that momentum to a whole new level,” Grancio continued. “James isn’t like anyone else. He approaches the game with a unique mentality and strives to go against convention. When he signed with the Rockets he moved from being the sixth man to the lead man, proving his willingness to establish himself as a resounding superstar.”
Harden will look to improve adidas’ image as Stephen Curry did for Under Armour. Harden now joins Derrick Rose, Damian Lillard, John Wall, Andrew Wiggins and many more NBA athletes as a proud member of the adidas team. His signature collection will drop on October 1, 2015 , right before the start of the NBA season.