Houston Rockets superstar James Harden certainly had a huge payday this offseason, signing an Adidas endorsement deal estimated to be worth up to $200 million dollars over 13 years.
However, the deal is not without its potential pitfalls. Apparently, Adidas envisions Harden not only as an on-court vision of their breakthrough basketball line, but also they hope to make the shooting guard an off-court embodiment of their lifestyle designs. As such, Adidas does not want Harden showing off a rival company’s gear. At all. In fact, their new contract explicitly prohibits it.
Though Harden recently caused a mild media stir by stepping out with girlfriend Khloe Kardashian while wearing Air Jordans, a staple product for competitive company Nike, his formal contract with Adidas, which actually forbids the wearing of Nike products in public, is not officially binding until October, so this scandal was largely a ‘no harm no foul’ situation. But, Harden might need to get his last few wears in with those kicks before segments of his sneaker collection become obsolete – because no pair of shoes is worth damaging a contract in the 9 figure range.
ESPN’s take on the issue covered much of the legal and contract minutiae in detail here. Harden is not the first athlete to potentially come under fire for difficulty with endorsement agreements, and he certainly will not be the last. No Nikes whatsoever is rigid, but $200 million likely makes this a much easier pill to swallow for the style-conscious swingman.
Will Harden ultimately regret this deal, sacrificing the right to rock his Nikes for some serious cash? I seriously doubt it, but the terms will seriously limit his shoe game for those nights off when the right Jordans would properly complement his gear. Could you forgo a favorite brand if the paperwork made you? Let us know how you feel about the ban, and as always, keep up with us at morethan-stats.com and on all your go-to social media platforms for all the hottest in the world of sports style.
photo via usweekly