Nikeofficials andKevin Durant'sagent Aaron Goodwin have confirmed to CNBC that the company has signed the second overall NBA draft pick.
"We are very pleased to have Kevin as part of the Nike basketball family," said Craig Zanon, the new vice president and general manager of Nike global basketball. "Kevin is an amazing talent both on and off the court and we are happy to be partnering with him as he starts his NBA career."
Durant was seen as the most marketable player in the draft, and the back and forth battle for his services went on for two months.
"After eight weeks of diligent work between (Nike senior director of basketball) Lynn Merritt and I, we have structured a footwear and apparel deal for Kevin that becomes the second largest rookie deal in basketball and includes a line of signature products," Goodwin said. "I know Kevin is excited to join the Nike family and to help grow their basketball business."
Goodwin negotiated the largest deal in NBA rookie history--a seven-year deal with Nike worth $90 million in 2003.
The length of negotiations apparently didn't affect Durant's total deal. We didn't get public confirmation on the numbers from either Nike or Goodwin, but one insider told us that the total deal, including the signing bonus, is in the $50 million range.
If that's accurate, I have to eat some crow since I thought the most Durant would ever make would be $6 million a year--$36 million on a six-year deal, $42 million on a seven-year deal. Goodwin would only say that it was a deal consistent with a deal he would do of this magnitude, so I'm assuming it's either six or seven years.
It's another loss for Adidas, which ducked out early in the LeBron James negotiations in 2003 and let Nike and Reebok, which Adidas now owns, duke it out. Durant, who wore Nike at the University of Texas, is said to be very brand loyal to the swoosh.
"We felt that we gave Kevin an offer that, from a financial and marketing standpoint, was a win-win for the both of us," said Travis Gonzolez, head of global basketball public relations for adidas. "We thought that we gave him the best long-term opportunity to grow. We respect his decision and are now concentrating on athletes that want to be an active part of what we're doing as a brand."
Durant is the third-highest scorer in the NBA Summer League, among players that have played at least three games. He has scored 24 points per game, though his shooting percentage (33%) has been less than stellar.
Adidas has signed Mike Conley Jr. (No. 4, Memphis), Rodney Stuckey (No. 15, Detroit) and Javaris Crittenton (No. 19, Los Angeles).
Conley Jr. was represented by his father, who also reps his son's former Ohio State teammate Greg Oden (Nike). Stuckey is represented by Goodwin and Crittenton is represented by Wallace Prather.
Nike Comments On Vick
This afternoon, Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick was indicted by a federal grand in connection with the dogfighting probe. "We are aware of the indictment and are reviewing the information," Nike spokesman Brian Facchini said. "We have no further comment at this time."
Vick's signature shoe, the Nike Air Zoom Vick IV D, is currently on the shelves selling for $84.99. The "D" stands for detachable. The Zoom Vick V is scheduled to launch in two colorways on August 23 and the suggested retail price is $100. The shoes will likely arrive at retailers in three weeks.
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