Free agent Austin Reaves signs seven-figure deal with Sports brand emulating Michael Jordan

Legendary player Michael Jordan began the trend of multi-million dollar deals for signature shoes. Now, there seems to be no stopping for sports superstars like Austin Reaves. Reportedly, the Lakers player has struck gold with the relatively unknown Chinese company Rigorer.

The 25-year-old is following the footsteps of the Airess himself, albeit by going against the overwhelming tide of Nike. Almost half of all NBA is roped into sporting Nike as their coveted footwear. However, Reaves played with Rigorer shoes for the entire 2023 season, exactly how Jordan chose Nike back in 1984.

Austin Reaves lands massive deal with unknown Rigorer

The Lakers player has developed a much-noticed appreciation for the near-incognito Chinese brand, as evident from his War Ender shoes. Apart from Nike, most of the big names in the NBA are associated with either Adidas, Under Armour, or New Balance. This brings Austin Reaves into a league of top players who have their own signature footwear. 

Even though news regarding his first signature shoe was leaked in April, Reaves himself decided to spill the beans in an interview. In this conversation of Reaves with Shams Charania, it has been revealed that the deal is going to fetch him a 7-figure revenue. 

“Honestly surprised. You know if earlier you would have told me I would have my own signature shoes, you know at 18, I would have looked at you and called you a liar you know? It’s not common for a 20-something to be in the NBA and have a signature shoe. Honestly, I am blessed to play basketball for a living and have to pinch myself sometimes just to really understand what’s going on.”

Michael Jordan’s Nike deal in 1984

In October 1984, Michael Jordan made history by striking a deal with Nike that was worth three times more than the NBA deals of the day. A 5-year deal worth 2.5 million dollars was unprecedented in the history of American basketball.

The Air Jordan was released in 1985 and was a deal that was phenomenal in itself. This is because this deal redefined the signing of individual sportspersons by brands, and organizations have concentrated on single big names more often since. 

Nike in collaboration with NBA legend Michael Jordan

Deals between brands and sportspersons have just been on the rise since ’84 and this trend is clearly not stopping anytime soon.

Austin Reaves has emulated the GOAT by not only going against the stream of Nike-crazed athletes but also his millions of dollars worth of a deal. He has successfully joined the elite club with a signature shoe of his own.

What do you like or dislike about brand endorsements by sportspersons? Do you think it is a healthy trend that should prosper, or is it actually hampering athletes’ performances on the field?Let us know in the comments section!


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