Zion Williamson Shoe Deal: Nike & Adidas Headed For ‘Biggest Bidding War Ever’

Getty Zion Williamson has a difficult decision between Nike and Adidas for his first shoe deal.

Zion Williamson is no longer an amateur which means shoe companies like Nike and Adidas are lining up to sign the Duke star to a lucrative endorsement deal. Legendary sneaker executive Sonny Vacarro noted to ESPN that we are about to see the “biggest bidding war ever.”

“In my lifetime, I think it’s going to be the biggest bidding war ever done,” Vaccaro told ESPN. “I would put them all on go.”

ESPN’s Jay Williams told TMZ that Williamson could demand a $100 million contract. Williams cited Williamson’s insane marketability and star power as a reason shoe companies are willing to pay up.

“He has that marketability,” Williams explained to TMZ. “That smile. And, who else is 6’7″, 285 with a 43-inch vertical that can entertain you like that? Nobody.”



Will Zion Sign With Nike, Adidas or Another Shoe Company?


How Zion Williamson's new custom Kyrie 4s came about | SportsCenterMark Schwarz joins SportsCenter to report on the custom Kyrie 4s made by Nike for Zion Williamson, after his Paul George signature shoes exploded, causing him to miss several Duke games before returning vs. Syracuse and going 13-for-13. ✔ Subscribe to ESPN on YouTube: es.pn/SUBSCRIBEtoYOUTUBE ✔ Subscribe to ESPN FC on YouTube: bit.ly/SUBSCRIBEtoESPNFC ✔ Subscribe…2019-03-16T01:25:57.000Z

What shoe company will Williamson sign with? Nike and Adidas are seen as the two favorites given their large bankroll, but ESPN reported as many as six brands could make Williamson an offer. Under Armour, Puma, New Balance and Anta were listed as additional companies with interest.

Some fans have wondered if Williamson’s exploding Nike shoes could hurt their chances of landing the star. Williamson also has a history with Adidas dating back to high school. Still, Vacarro told ESPN that he views Nike as the favorite to sign Williamson.

“I don’t know if they’re going to get him, but if there’s an odds-on favorite to getting him, it would be Nike,” Vaccaro told ESPN.

Nike is hoping that Williamson will be impressed by how they handled the shoe fiasco earlier this year. A team of top Nike executives flew to Durham to meet with Williamson then flew to China where Williamson’s new shoes were specially made, per ESPN. Williamson spoke glowingly of the custom-Kyries that he wore after the incident.


Nike Could Try to Pursue Zion as a Jordan Brand Athlete


Why Nike might be at a disadvantage in Zion Williamson’s upcoming shoe deal | The JumpShoe expert Nick DePaula joins Rachel Nichols, Brian Windhorst and Tracy McGrady on The Jump to talk about all things sneakers in the NBA, from (0:00) Windhorst's story on LeBron James choosing Nike over Adidas and Reebok out of high school; (1:10) Zion Williamson being recruited by seven brands as the 2019 NBA draft approaches,…2019-04-04T21:30:00.000Z

With the amount of star power on the Nike roster, there is some speculation that Nike will try to recruit Williamson to be part of the Jordan Brand. ESPN reported that Nike is split on whether this should be their attack plan.

According to sources, executives have already begun to have company balance discussions around targeting Williamson to be a Jordan athlete instead, given Nike’s current crowded stable. There have been conflicting viewpoints on whether that would be the right decision.

Jordan brand is owned by Nike and has had mixed results with recent athletes like Kawhi Leonard and Carmelo Anthony. To be fair, they have not had an NBA player with the star-power of Williamson. In addition to his own signature shoes, Nike could choose to feature Williamson in new colorways of retro Jordans.

ESPN reported in early April that shoe companies were already planning meetings with Williamson.

With Williamson’s deal expected to be wrapped up relatively quickly, brands looking to court him have already been hard at work on the presentations they plan to make to him and his family in the coming weeks. Lee Anderson, Williamson’s stepfather, has called Vaccaro with “logical questions” over the years, as the family navigated through a winding web of major decisions in store.

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