Sports apparel giant Adidas sent a 13-year, $200 million bid to Houston Rockets guard James Harden on Aug. 3, per ESPN's Darren Rovell. Harden's current deal with Nike just expired. Nike has until the end of the week to match Adidas' offer.
Adidas has submitted a $200 million bid to Houston Rockets guard James Harden.
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According to ESPN's Darren Rovell, the proposed deal is for 13 years. Nike's endorsement deal with Harden just expired. It has until the end of the week to match Adidas' offer.
Adidas spokesman Michael Ehrlich confirmed the massive bid for Harden, per Rovell:
Adidas paid the NBA $400 million over 11 seasons as its official uniform supplier, per ESPN. Adidas has said it will not renew the deal, giving Nike a chance to take its place after the 2016-17 NBA season.
Harden could make more from Adidas than the Rockets. He signed an $80 million contract extension three years ago. It runs through 2017-18, per Rovell.
Harden will earn $15.7 million this season, per HoopsHype.com.
Rovell emphasizes Adidas' current endorsement deals with other NBA players has not gone well.
First, it inked a 14-year deal with Chicago Bulls superstar Derrick Rose in 2012. However, he suffered a string of injuries in recent years, per Rovell.
Adidas also has contracts with Damian Lillard and John Wall. However, Lillard's Portland Trail Blazers are not as competitive as other title contenders. Rovell says Wall's Adidas line "fell relatively flat this year."
Harden was the only big-name player Adidas could approach, per Rovell. Stephen Curry has an existing deal with Under Armour while Kevin Durant has a new contract with Nike.
Rovell also says Adidas slipped to third in brand apparel sales in the United States last year. Nike still owns the No. 1 spot while Under Armour is second.
Harden's famous beard and his "natural sense of fashion" make him an appealing endorser. These could help the apparel giant sell its expensive Y-3 line, per Rovell.
Harden's relationship with reality TV star Khloe Kardashian could also appeal to Adidas' buyers. Kanye West, Kardashian's brother-in-law, just moved his Yeezy line to Adidas, per Rovell.
Harden could also make an impact in the international market. The Rockets have a big following in China because of former center Yao Ming. Rovell's sources told him Adidas is willing to pay him big money because of his appeal to the masses.
Adidas recently struck a lucrative uniform sponsorship with English Premier League club Manchester United. Adidas is paying the team $128 million annually over a 10-year period, per ESPN.
Adidas has a long way to go to catch Nike in the basketball shoe business. Nike's Jordan-branded shoes comprise 90 percent of those sold in the United States. Rovell says Adidas' market share is less than five percent.
The National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) recently named Harden as Most Valuable Player.
Harden thanked the players' union for "giving players a voice to speak their minds," per ESPN.
Harden will attend the USA Basketball minicamp in Las Vegas on Aug. 11 to 13, per a separate ESPN update.
USA Basketball requires players interested in suiting up for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics to attend.
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