Lebron James has been a Nike man for the entirety of his career. According to Forbes, Lebron’s Nike shoes outsold any other NBA player’s signature shoes in 2014 by a landslide. Lebron’s shoes sold $340 million while Kevin Durant was second at $195 million.
Nike was eager to sign James even before he entered the NBA. Lebron signed a 7-year, $90 million deal with Nike before he was drafted into the NBA. Judging by the amount of money he is bringing in for Nike, it is a nice return on their investment.
Here are some more details on Lebron James’ kicks:
1. Lebron James Earns $30 million a year From Nike
According to the International Business Times, Lebron earns an estimated $30 million from Nike. This along with his other endorsements for brands like McDonald’s and Beats by Dre make for rich paydays that do not even begin to factor in his contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Lebron is worth an estimated $300 million.
2. Lebron Signed His Latest Nike Contract in 2010
According to Darren Rovell, terms of the deal were not disclosed but the contract that was signed was believed to be for a longer period of time than his initial 7-year contract he signed as a high school player entering the NBA. There is a fascinating ESPN 30 for 30 documentary called “Sole Man” that touches a little bit on the battle of the shoe companies over signing the young Lebron James. Lebron is the closest thing Nike has had to Michael Jordan, and it would be hard to imagine the company ever letting him walk away as he is the current face of the company.
3. James Most Recent Shoe is the Lebron 12
When the Nike team was designing Lebron’s most recent signature shoe, they went away from tailoring around a specific team’s colors. The reason for this was Lebron was in the midst of free agent negotiations while the shoes were in their final stages. Nike wanted to be able to roll out the Lebron 12 shoe regardless of whether James signed with the Heat or the Cavs. The shoe originally featured nods to his #6 jersey but with Lebron switching back to the #23 after re-signing with Cleveland they were able to adjust these features.
4. Lebron Has His Own Golf Cart at Nike
According to Sole Collector, when King James comes into Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, he has his own golf cart. The golf cart features Lebron’s logo on the side. This logo is reportedly his favorite feature on his shoes. The cart is used to help James get around Nike’s spacious headquarters.
5. Each Lebron 12 Shoe Has a Hidden Message
Lebron is sending you hidden messages. According to Sole Collector, on each pair of Lebron 12s there is a message for the buyer. Each heel tab and tongue has the hidden message. The numbers are a nod to the zip code of Beaverton, Oregon where Nike headquarters are located. The letters stand for Nike’s “Genome Project” which is this year’s storyline for Lebron’s kicks.