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Back in December, Lebron James signed the deal of a lifetime — literally — with Nike, reportedly marking the retailer's first ever relationship of the sort. But just how much is a deal like that worth?
Kanye had some ideas (surprise), throwing out the billion dollar figure in his song "Facts."
To clear the air, GQ sat down with Maverick Carter, James's savvy business manager who orchestrated the whole thing, and while Carter can't confirm it's worth, he hinted strongly that its value is actually north of a billion dollars.
How much was the deal for?
I can't say.
Come on, Mav! Can you ballpark it?
What are people saying?
Kanye said a billion. So a billion.
[Maverick smiles and points one finger skyward.] [GQ.]
More. Than. One. Billion. Dollars. For reference, that's 250,000 pairs of Rihanna's Manolo boot/chaps, or 31,250 pairs of Linda Farrow's obscenely expensive gold sunglasses, or just about the worth of one such NBA team called The Cleveland Cavaliers. Yeah, LeBron's deal with Nike is worth approximately the same as his entire team.
While high-paying relationships between athletes and brands are nothing new, James's historic agreement makes Kevin Durant's $300 million dollar Nike deal look like pocket change. If you're not yet a little bit grossed out by that amount of money, get this: Nike hopes that James will earn even more from the deal.
Carter says, "It's a fantastic deal. Nike feels great about the deal. That's the most important thing. As great as I feel, as great as LeBron feels — Nike feels fantastic about it. It's the largest deal in the history of the company. Their hope is he makes even more." K.
Aside from giving Donald Trump a run for his money as the King of Deals, Carter also offered a couple of other tidbits of wisdom in the interview, such as: "It's hard to get anything done without being an asshole" and, "You never get what you deserve, you only get what you negotiate. So if you can negotiate for $99 after making someone $100 — that's what you're worth."
Remember that the next time you have to negotiate a multimillion dollar brand partnership.