Bidding wars for top athletes have become something of the norm in professional sports but athletes making demands on shoe deals is something that is not often seen.
According to Businessweek, Jay Z, who represents Kevin Durant under his Roc Nation Sports agency, has given Nike a Wednesday deadline to match a 10-year sponsorship offer from Under Armour. UA’s deal is believed to be worth between $265 million and $285 million.
Kevin Durant, who has had his shoes made by Nike since 2007, would be making more than double what he currently would be via Nike, a seven-year deal worth nearly $70 million. The large offer made by Under Armour is said to be almost 10 percent of the company’s entire marketing budget.
Kevin Durant won the NBA Most Valuable Player last season scoring an average of 36 points per game. Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports also represents James Young and NFL players Geno Smith, Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz, among other athletes. In 2013, UA signed Durant’s NBA colleague Stephen Curry.
(August 23, 2014)
UPDATE: Nike has exercised its right to match the multi-million dollar offer Under Armour made to Kevin Durant in order to retain its relationship with the NBA star, according to ESPN.
Represented by Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports, Durant is expected to make more in base salary and royalties in the new Nike deal than he does from the Oklahoma City Thunder, for whom he plays basketball.