Together, Bond and Vaccaro spent approximately a year and a half shadowing LBJ the high school star and Nike Air Max 270 Womens
brainstorming a radical approach to Nike Air Max 97 Femme
luring him. Bond suspected Nike Nike Air Max Vision Womens
would tell James he could be the next Michael Jordan. However,Nike Air Max 97 Womens
using Muhammad Adidas ZX 750 Femme
Ali as an archetype, Adidas pitched the idea of the young James emerging into Adidas ZX Flux Femme
more Nike Air Max 270 Donne
than an athlete (which he’s become), who could not just represent the sport of basketball but also stand for important social issues. Bond even surmised that if presented comparable monetary offers, James would pick Adidas over Nike based upon the long-standing relationship they’d built.
But the day of, an hour before presentation, Adidas panicked. “We had agreed ahead of time, for the final contract, to offer him $100 million guaranteed, which is about what he ended up signing for,” Bond said. “At the last second, the CEO at the time [Herbert Hainer] got cold feet. He wasn’t a hundred percent certain LeBron would Adidas Prophere Womens
have $100 million worth of impact. … We didn’t know what Nike’s final UGG Bottes Homme
offer would be at that point, but as soon as we slid Nike Air Max 95 Mens
ours across the Nike Air Max 90 Womens
table and they saw the number, we knew right then it was over. It sucked, to Nike Air Max Fury Womens
sum Adidas Arkyn Femme
it up. There’s no second place in this game. It’s either you win or you lose, and we lost.”
After the final meeting in Oregon, negotiations concluded in Akron: all three companies on the eve of the lottery. Adidas was the first to be eliminated from contention, bringing James to the brink of a decision between Nike and Reebok. “Up until the end, I thought we were going with Reebok,” Goodwin said in 2003. According to The Associated Press, the company offered $75 million. But Goodwin says now that Reebok came in far higher (he won’t name precise terms), and in the end, James took less money to join Nike.
“Nike is the right fit and has the right product for me at the right time,” James said in a statement released on May 22, 2003, the Nike Air Vapormax Womens
day he signed a letter Nike Air Max 98 Femme
of intent. “They are a good company that is committed to supporting Adidas Arkyn Womens
me throughout Nike Epic React Flyknit Femme
my professional career, on and off the court.” The deal with Nike was worth a Adidas NMD Femme
reported $90 million — with a $10 million signing bonus. In 1984, Nike had signed Jordan for $2.5 million over five years. In 1992, Shaquille O’Neal signed with Reebok for $3 million. In 1996, Iverson signed for 10 years and $50 million with Reebok. In 1997, Adidas signed Bryant for $5 million and secured a six-year commitment from McGrady for $12 million. Before playing a single second in the NBA, James landed a deal worth more than the initial contracts of five All-Stars, MVPs and league champions combined.