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Adidas Paid Top Nike Designer Over $1M to Jump Ship

Nike's former senior design director Denis Dekovic. Photo: Getty Images
Nike's former senior design director Denis Dekovic. Photo: Getty Images

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Oregon Live uncovered details surrounding the $10 million lawsuit that Nike brought down on three of its former design executives after they left for Adidas, allegedly taking private company information with them.

According to public court documents, Denis Dekovic, one of the three designers, demanded a $500,000 base salary from Adidas along with a $200,000 sign-on bonus, a $500,000 retention bonus, and a $60,000 housing allowance—all while Nike pays each of them half their annual salary ($181,290 for Dekovic) as per the one-year noncompete agreement that both parties signed when the men were hired.

If Nike wins the case, they'll be asking for that salary money back along with the initial $10 million. Other emails obtained by the court (which Nike paid to have translated from Italian to English) revealed Dekovic saying things like "[Adidas] needs us bad and for us to influence other people to come," and "Yesterday I met the CEO of Adidas [Herbert Hainer]. I think I really impressed him because he told me to dream BIG and let him know what I want to do!"
· $500,000 salary proposal, other studio plans in recovered emails, texts of former Nike designers [Oregon Live]
· Nike Sues the Pants Off Designers Who Left for Adidas [Racked]
· Nike's CIO Had to Get the Hell Out of Portland [Racked]