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Damian Lillard signs lucrative new deal with Adidas

By Matt Moore | NBA writer

The 'Rose City Crazy 1's' were the latest show from adidas for Damian Lillard.  (USATSI)
The 'Rose City Crazy 1's' were the latest shoes from Adidas for Damian Lillard. (USATSI)

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Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard has risen to legitimate stardom in only his second year. Part of that has been his play with the Blazers, helping to get them back to the playoffs in only his second season. Part of it is his winning Rookie of the Year last season. And part of it has been his visibility. He's been at the forefront of public service campaigns against bullying, made a huge presence at All-Star Weekend appearing in every event, and has become in many ways the face of Adidas with Derrick Rose injured.

Now he's set to stay with the company for the forseeable future as Adidas announced Monday they have re-signed Lillard to a multi-year deal. From Adidas:

PORTLAND, Ore. (April 14, 2014) – Adidas today announced a long-term partnership extension with NBA All-Star point guard Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers. The young star will continue to be an integral part of adidas Basketball's marketing campaigns, product launches and global initiatives moving forward.

“Adidas has been great to me over my first two seasons,” said Lillard. “I've had the opportunity to wear a lot of great product, help design special versions of shoes, be a part of TV commercials and travel the world with the brand. I'm excited for what the future holds for me and adidas.”

Lillard's dedication to basketball brought immediate success in his young NBA career, including being named the unanimous Kia NBA Rookie of the Year. This season, Lillard took another step forward, earning a spot on the Western Conference NBA All-Star team where he also became the first player to complete in all five events at All-Star weekend. Lillard's improvement has led to team success, as the Trail Blazers have clinched a playoff spot in the tough Western Conference for the first time in three seasons.

“Damian has proven to be not only an amazing basketball player, but a great partner, member of the community and someone who creates excitement for our products,” said Chris Grancio, adidas head of global basketball sports marketing. “His leadership and commitment to success on the court and his ability to interact and relate to fans through social media and the community make him the perfect fit to be one of the cornerstones of the Adidas brand.”

After being overlooked by large collegiate programs coming out of high school in Oakland, Calif., Lillard attended Weber State University where he excelled for three seasons. Lillard quickly raised his draft status in 2012 where he was selected by the Portland Trail Blazers with the sixth overall pick. Lillard is currently averaging 21 points, six assists and four rebounds per game for the Trail Blazers.

Other adidas athletes include Derrick Rose of the Chicago Bulls, WNBA MVP Candace Parker and FIFA World Player of the Year Lionel Messi FC Barcelona.

USA Today reports on the size of the deal:

Damian Lillard's banner year continued Monday, when the second-year Portland Trail Blazers point guard finalized a new shoe contract with Adidas that is believed to be among the most lucrative of any player in the NBA.

While the exact figures of the deal were not immediately known, a person with knowledge of the contract said it is smaller only than that of Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose (reportedly $185 million over 13 years with Adidas) and the Miami Heat's LeBron James (reportedly $20 million annually with Nike) among NBA players. The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the financial terms are not typically disclosed.

via Damian Lillard agrees to new shoe deal with Adidas.

With the playoffs around the corner and Lillard's likeability both on and off the court in a recognizable if not major basketball market, Lillard is in position to solidify himself as one of the most visible NBA athletes out there.

Plus, you know, he got paid.



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