Klay Thompson signs $80M deal with Anta, aims to be the M.J. of Chinese shoe brand
Thompson has his own signature shoe with the Chinese brand Anta
This was not simply a vacation, however, as Thompson has been on tour with Anta, the Chinese shoe company he's endorsed by. And judging by the news Friday that Thompson will sign a new 10-year deal worth up to $80M with Anta, it appears the trip has been a success. Via NiceKicks.com:
After initially signing a shoe deal with Chinese brand Anta in 2014, Golden State Warriors star forward Klay Thompson has signed a new 10-year renegotiation extension with the company, Nice Kicks has exclusively learned, locking him in with Anta until 2026.
The long-term footwear and apparel endorsement deal, struck by Thompson's Wasserman agent Greg Lawrence, Senior Vice President of Basketball, along with his business manager Joe McLean, will land the explosive sharpshooter among the top 10 highest earning sneaker endorsers among all NBA players. The deal could reach 10 years and $80 Million, with a variety of incentives incorporated into the contract, and will continue to grow his brand throughout both China and the US.
Instead of signing with one of the major companies, such as Nike or Adidas, Thompson decided to go with Anta in part because it gave him the opportunity to get a signature shoe. As Thompson put it, he wants to "be the Michael Jordan one day of Anta."
From the onset, having his own signature shoe and individual player tours with the brand was an admittedly major sticking point of the deal, and something that Thompson particularly gravitated to.
"I knew with the other brands in the States, whether it was Nike or adidas, it was going to be tough for me to get a signature shoe," admits Klay. "I knew with Anta, I would have so much input creatively. I was going to hopefully be the Michael Jordan one day of Anta. That really resonated with me, and knowing that I could be really big in China, that was really cool to me. The shoe market sometimes is overflooded in the States, and I thought, 'Well, why not branch out and be global.'"
Thompson may take some jokes for going with Anta, but one thing no one will be joking at is $80 million.
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