The sneaker free agency war between Nike and Under Armour has reportedly gone up to a whole new level. Under Armour is said to be offering KD a 10-year deal worth over $300 million and a financial stake in the company. Per Basketball Insiders:
Source confirms $320+ million offer from Under Armor to Kevin Durant. Offer includes equity in the company. Nike thinks they've lost him.
— Yannis Koutroupis (@YannisNBA) August 7, 2014
Hearing the Under Armour deal for Kevin Durant could be in the neighborhood of $325 million over 10 years.
— Jeff Ermann (@insidemdsports) August 6, 2014
Durant has been with Nike since coming into the league. He wanted to be a part of their team so badly coming out of college that he actually took less than market value to sign with them, but Under Armour has given him an offer that is nearly impossible to refuse. Nothing is official yet, but UA is having one of their premiere events, Elite 24, late in August in Brooklyn, coincidentally during the same time that Durant and Team USA are rolling through for a series of exhibition games. That could be an ideal time to announce the switch, assuming Nike doesn’t find a way to change Durant’s mind during the 11th hour. That possibility is looking slim, though, especially after Durant cancelled a scheduled meeting with them earlier this week.
Monster offers like this are not going to become common place. This is a unique situation in which an emerging company with the bank roll to make a splash like this has the opportunity to pluck away one of the most marketable stars the NBA has ever seen. They’re throwing everything they have at Durant simply because he is worth it to them. He helps legitimize them and push them towards being a premiere brand in the basketball world, much like they are in football. They’ve made some waves, already having Golden State Warriors All-Star guard Stephen Curry, and this would give them one of the faces of the NBA during the peak of his stardom.