If you’re wondering why Nike would do a lifetime deal with LeBron James — the first of its kind for the company — you just need to take a look at the shoes out on the market. Retro Air Jordan’s are re-released all the time. Nike re-released Penny Hardaway’s shoes. You can be sure that once Kobe Bryant walks away the Kobe retros will start rolling out. With LeBron already having 13 signature shoes — and there are more to come — selling an estimated $400 million this year, there is a lot of time for retro LeBrons to sell.
But how much is all of that worth?
Sam Amick of the USA Today got a rough dollar amount on the lifetime shoe deal, and it’s huge — more than $500 million.
According to a person with knowledge of the situation, James’ lifetime shoe deal that was revealed on Monday is worth significantly more than the $500 million that has been speculated in some media reports and — at the current rate of sales — is also worth more than $30 million on an annual basis. The person spoke to USA TODAY Sports on the condition of anonymity because of the private nature of the financial terms.
That’s a lot of dough, but not out of line with the market. LeBron sells more shoes worldwide than any active player, and Kevin Durant just got a $300 million deal from Nike to keep him. Adidas just gave James Harden a $200 million deal.
For LeBron, it fits with his strategy of building a global brand. Of course, what really helps that brand is bringing a title to Cleveland.