Ben Simmons Chooses Nike; Rejects Adidas’ Offer
Former Louisiana State University star Ben Simmons, who is projected to be the first or second pick in the 2016 NBA Draft this June 24th, has chosen to sign a 5-year rookie apparel sponsorship contract with Nike worth $12 million.
Nike initially offered $7.5 million for 5 years, much less than their rival, Adidas, who offered Simmons a 5-year deal worth $10 million with a $2 million signing bonus and a $1 million bonus for winning the Rookie of the Year Award.
During the Adidas pitch, Adidas emphasized that the decision to join Nike would be like following in the footsteps of someone else, being marketed as a supporter of LeBron’s Team Soldier sneaker line. Adidas even went as far as raising their offer to $17 million in attempts to sign the rookie, with the bonuses still on the table.
With the support of his father, Dave, and half-sister, Emily Bush, a Klutch Sports marketing employee, Ben was able to get advice on which direction to go. It was a rough decision, considering the family was highly intrigued by the financial upside of the deal with Adidas, but also very aware of Nike’s marketing prowess.
Although Adidas put more money on the table, Nikes’ emphashis on it’s dominance in the footwear industry from a market-share stand point, and their ability to promote stars and create signature icons, was what sold Simmons and his loved ones.
Simmons took to twitter to post a video announcing the news on Tuesday.
“I’d like to announce that I’ve signed with Nike,” Simmons said. “I’m excited. I’m blessed. It’s an amazing opportunity for me and my family of course.”
Simmons, who averaged 19.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists in his lone season in college, is expected to sign with the Philadelphia 76ers, who have the first pick in this month’s draft.
(Ben Simmons Chooses Nike)