Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Forget 2016 For A Moment, Kevin Durant Has A Huge Endorsement Decision To Make Right Now

VIA: The Kevin Durant free agency rumors are already starting to heat up despite the fact that Durant won’t be an NBA free agent until 2016. The more immediate decision that KD has to make is which sports apparel company he’ll be endorsing for years to come.

Kevin Durant’s contract with Nike is expiring. And while Nike would sure like to continue its business relationship with Durant, Under Armour is making a push to sign Durant and they’re willing to pay him up to $30 million a year to make it happen.

According to a person familiar with negotiations, Durant, whose seven-year, $60 million deal with Nike is expiring, could earn as much as $30 million annually if he signs with Under Armour Inc., whose headquarters are in Durant’s home state of Maryland.

Now, it’s unlikely that Nike just lets Durant walk away. Outside of KD, the Swoosh has LeBron and Kobe as its most visible basketball athletes but with Kobe reaching the end of his NBA career, keeping Durant is paramount for the brand. For now, Durant is staying clear of Nike related events

As for Under Armour, their biggest basketball endorser at the moment is Stephen Curry, the Golden State Warriors point guard. Under Armour was able to convince Curry to leave Nike for their brand in 2013.

For his part, Durant isn’t stressing his athletic apparel endorsement deal too much.

“I’m just going to let my team be the ones who handle that behind the scenes, I guess,” Durant told ESPN last week. “When you look at stuff like that, it’s great problems to have because people want you for what you know and do on the basketball court, the work you put in, so I’m going to continue to put my work in, let them focus on that on the other end, and we’ll come together at some point.”

So, before Kevin Durant starts thinking about what jersey he’ll wear in 2016, he’ll have to decide which brand of sneakers he’ll lace up in this coming season.

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