After thinking about it for 10 days, Nike has declined to match the 13-year, $200 million deal Adidas offered James Harden. The Houston Rockets guard's deal with Adidas will officially start on October 1.
With Harden's deal with Nike ending this summer, adidas saw an opportunity to get one of the NBA's most popular players in their sneakers.
From an Adidas press release:
“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.”
To begin the partnership, Harden will play a leading role in adidas’ global brand campaign which will coincide with the start of the NBA season. He will play a critical role with adidas to create and develop on and off-court signature footwear and apparel collections as well as marketing plans. The partnership also includes Harden traveling on extensive brand tours in Europe and Asia.
Like Adidas has already done with Derrick Rose, John Wall and Damian Lillard, Harden will have his own signature sneaker and clothing line with the sneaker company. Adidas has done a great job designing logos for Rose, Wall and Lillard, so Harden's logo should also be top-notch, especially if his beard is somehow part of it.