Miami Heat superstar Dwyane Wade has reportedly left his $10 million yearly contract with Nike/Brand Jordan and taken a deal with Chinese company Li-Ning.
After days of speculation, D-Wade made the move official this week.
Take that, Nike. Dwayne Wade of the Heat has signed a deal with the Chinese company Li-Ning to create an apparel and footwear line called… drum roll please… Wade. Li-Ning, which was found by the Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Li Ning, said Wade “will serve as the centerpiece of the corporation’s growing international basketball strategy, and be shaped by an unprecedented level of creative and strategic direction from the two-time N.B.A. champion,” according to a statement released by the company on Wednesday. (New York Times)
Earlier this month, Wade revealed his Brand Jordan relationship had come to an end.
“I just really can’t comment on my new deal,” Wade said. “I did mutually part ways with the Jordan umbrella, with Jordan and Converse. I had a great nine years, but we have mutually parted ways, and I’m moving on.” Wade said he’s “not disappointed” at leaving the Jordan Brand. But he did acknowledge that it was special to work with Jordan, his childhood idol. “It’s just the time,” Wade said. “We just went our separate ways. But I still feel honored to have represented my favorite player of all time and his brand and the opportunity I was given.” (Atlanta Black Star)
According to some reports, the deal could potentially make Dwyane the richest athlete of all time.
Tomorrow morning NBA superstar Dwyane Wade will announce that he is ditching his $10 million a year Nike contract and signing with Chinese shoe company Li-Ning in what could turn out to be the most lucrative endorsement deal in sports history. Wade is taking a big risk ditching Nike for the much smaller Li-Ning. So why’d he do it? Obviously he’ll be paid millions of dollars to wear Li-Ning shoes, but even more impressively Dwyane scored a huge equity stake in the Chinese company which some day could make him the richest athlete of all time. (Celebrity Net Worth)
Despite the big power move, some sports bloggers speculate the risky decision it could hurt Wade’s career.
Money talks. And it just so happens to speak a few different languages. Regardless of much Chinese Dwyane Wade actually learns, he’s about to find out plenty about Chinese purchasing power. To hear him explain his decision to ditch Jordan Brand shoes for China’s own Li-Ning equivalent, this is about doing this his way. Wade may be one of the most significant names yet to take his celebrity to an overseas sneaker company, but he’s hardly the first one to see the world through cash-colored glasses (and thick-rimmed ones at that). (Bleacher Report)
Check out D-Wade’s Li-Ning shoes below: