Commanding more than 1/3rd market share in sports goods and accessories segment, Nike does not need an introduction. With its relatively high pricing, the company has also been at the receiving end of critics. However, before pointing fingers, it’s important to understand what it takes to sustain a company like Nike. Of course, there’s quality of products to account for. But the one thing that probably has the most impact on customers is the endorsement of Nike products by top celebrities.
Nike has always worked proactively to identity talent early in their career and invite them to become part of the extended family. Nike is also known for signing the biggest endorsement deals in sports. To get an idea, here’s a look at some of the most expensive endorsement deals signed by Nike.
Rory McIlroy – A talented golfer, Rory McIlroy entered the professional golfing scene when he was just 16 years of age. Nike was quick to identify the talent and offered a deal worth $25 million. In the present time, Rory McIlroy’s deal with Nike is valued at $100 million for a 10-year period.
Tiger Woods – A name that’s known for his accomplishments and some controversies as well, Tiger Woods is among the richest sports celebrities in the world. His current income from endorsements is estimated to be around $200 million for a five-year contract.
Lebron James – One of the highest paid athletes, Lebron James has signed deals with various companies such as Coca Cola, Samsung and McDonald’s. In case of Nike, the company was able to spot his talent at an early age. Lebron was signed by Nike when he had just completed high school. At that time, he had signed a $90 million deal with Nike. Things have gotten better ever since and Lebron now has a $1 billion lifetime deal with Nike.
Cristiano Ronaldo – A terrific footballer and adored celebrity, Cristiano Ronaldo has signed multi-million dollar deals with several global brands. However, the deal with Nike tops the list with valuation of $1 billion. This is a $1 billion lifetime deal offered to Cristiano Ronaldo by Nike. This will be paid in installment every year.
Michael Jordan – Legends have a common connection with Nike, a perfect example of which is Michael Jordan. The association between Nike and Jordan has been among the most long lasting. It all started in 1980s when Air Jordan was introduced to the world. It became an instant hit and Michael Jordan got a five-year deal with earnings of $500,000 per year. Even after retirement, Jordan continues to earn around $100 million per year.
It’s clear from above facts that being a Nike does not come cheap. It takes tons of money to hire the best in the sporting world. Combined with premium quality products, Nike has been able to maintain its dominance in the world of sports.