Last year, Nike was able to hold off Under Armour and retain Kevin Durant.
The Swoosh must now open up their checkbook wide all over again if they hope to keep James Harden—adidas is reportedly offering the sneaker deal free agent a thirteen-year, $200 million contract to bolt.
BREAKING: Adidas has offered James Harden $200 million to leave Nike
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) 3 Août 2015
Nike has until the end of next week to match or risk losing the rising NBA superstar.
A $200 million offer is huge, considering it represents half of what the brand paid for 11 seasons as the NBA’s official uniform supplier. Earlier this year, Adidas announced that it would not fight to renew that deal, which will see its competitor Nike take over after the 2016-17 season.
With incentives, if the deal is consummated, Harden could very well make more from Adidas in the coming years than the Rockets. Harden signed an $80 million contract extension with Houston in 2012 that goes through the 2017-18 season.
Despite having the NBA deal, Adidas has slipped in recent years due to a lack of individual basketball stars. In 2012, the company signed a massive 14-year deal with Derrick Rose, only to see him miss plenty of action because of knee injuries. Its other star is Damian Lillard, whose Portland Trail Blazers aren’t really showing much promise. Endorser John Wall shows plenty of flash, but his first signature Adidas line fell relatively flat this year. […] With Stephen Curry locked up by Under Armour and Kevin Durant choosing to stick with Nike last season, Harden is the only veteran whom Adidas could poach — even if it means overpaying. This past year, Adidas fell to the No. 3 best-selling apparel brand in the United States, after being passed by Under Armour.