Some of the NBA’s biggest athletes are synonymous with the insanely popular brand Nike. Nike, who sponsors the likes of LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving just to name a few, seem to be the mantle in the world of basketball sneakers and athletic apparel. Their sneaker releases of LeBron’s, Kobe’s, KD’s and retro Jordan’s sell out in a matter of minutes, and majority of the league dons some variation of a Nike basketball shoe.
With such close ties to the NBA already, Nike is apparently looking to strengthen their relationship with the Association even more. According to Terry Lefton of Sports Business Daily, Nike is very close to securing a long-term uniform rights deal with the NBA that would take effect in the 2017-18 season.
Nike is close to securing a long-term NBA uniform rights deal. Sources said the framework for a deal has been reached, the outline of which will be presented to ownership today in N.Y. during a meeting of the Exec Committee and tomorrow before the full NBA BOG. Multiple sources said that while the two sides have an agreement in principle, they are still some distance from a signed deal. However, Nike’s new on-court rights will not begin for more than another two years. Nike and the NBA still have “a million I’s to dot and T’s to cross,” said a senior industry source, “but it’s at that stage, as opposed to getting to the right number.” The new deal will take effect in time for the ’17-18 NBA season, after the rights held by 11-year incumbent uniform rights-holder adidas expire. After adidas dropped out, the NBA said it hoped to announce a new uniform deal this spring. adidas’ current agreement is valued at $400M over 11 years, and a Nike deal is certainly expected to surpass that in value. Sources said that for the first time, the deal will include the rights to put a manufacturer’s logo on NBA jerseys. Currently, adidias’ logo only appears on NBA warm-ups. One source said that both Nike’s swoosh and its Jordan Brand Jumpman logo could appear on NBA jerseys. Those details will not be finalized for some time, the source added. NBA Exec VP/Communications Mike Bass would not comment on a possible agreement.
Adidas, the NBA’s current apparel provider, revealed that they do not intend to extend it’s agreement with the league when their contract ends in 2017. Rumors swirled around that Under Armour was looking to obtain the uniform rights, but if Nike is seriously interested, the league probably won’t be able to deny them and their pristine brand.
I’m interested to see if the NBA allows Nike to put the Jordan Brand logo on uniforms, as it could possibly conflict with the current logo mimicked after Lakers legend Jerry West. Would the NBA explore the possibility of replacing the logo featuring West for the logo of the guy who is universally considered the greatest basketball player of all-time? It’s certainly an interesting dynamic.