Nike Re-Signs Odell Beckham Jr. To Brand's Most-Lucrative NFL Player Deal To Date

Nike’s new contract with Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. is “believed to be worth” more than $29M over five years and is “by far the most lucrative endorsement deal for a NFL player to date,” according to sources cited by Nick DePaula of NICEKICKS.com. If certain triggers are met, the deal could “escalate to a value” of as much as $48M over eight years. Nike “opted to fully match” Adidas’ offer to Beckham, whose initial Nike deal was “set to expire earlier this month.” Beckham, his agent Zeke Sandhu of Elite Athlete Management and his business manager Heather Van Norman “met with both brands to hear pitches and new offers on a long-term partnership.” Sources said that from the onset, there was an “expectation for a signature cleat, cross-trainer and a full apparel line.” There was also an “emphasized desire to be a ‘brand icon’ on Beckham’s part” (NICEKICKS.com, 5/23). ESPN.com’s Darren Rovell noted the deal is “about two times more than any previous deal Nike had with a football player.” The deal also will make Beckham a “larger brand spokesman for Nike, including campaigns outside of football.” Beckham’s value “not only comes from his flash on the field during games, but his ability to stay relevant off of it.” He has “8.3 million Instagram followers, 2.3 million Twitter followers and 1.3 million Facebook followers.” He also “drew even more attention” to himself and Nike with the shoes he “wore before every game last year, customized by sneaker designer Troy Cole” (ESPN.com, 5/23).

EARN IT LIKE BECKHAM: ESPN’s Max Kellerman said re-upping with Beckham was the “smartest signing Nike could make of any athlete on Earth. Odell owns the youth market in the NFL” (“First Take,” ESPN, 5/24). ESPN’s Adam Schefter added, “Nike has recognized him as one of the transcendent stars in the game, which he is. They’ve rewarded him for that. … And with celebrations now allowed, I’m sure there’s going to be some added air time for a guy who’s going to score a few touchdowns this year” (“SportsCenter,” ESPN 5/24). ESPN’s Mike Golic said of Beckham’s deal, “He is now the measurable, he is that mark for other football players.” ESPN’s Mike Greenberg added, “The thing about Odell is he kind of has a little something that no one else does. He has like a rebellious nature, but in a non-dangerous way. That’s a difficult combination of things to have. … He’s got the celebrity relationships. He’s got the look and the flare and the absolute talent and the market, playing in New York. … He enters the rarified air for football players who are getting paid more from an endorsement deal than they are from their playing contract” (“Mike & Mike,” ESPN Radio, 5/24).

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