Nike has signed LeBron James to a lifetime deal


Nike has signed Cleveland Cavaliers forward LeBron James to a lifetime deal. Largest single athlete guarantee in company's 44-year history.

"I'm very humble, man," James said. "It's been an unbelievable time for myself and my family, and I'm just grateful that Nike and [Nike founder] Phil Knight and everyone over there just believed in a skinny-old, skinny 18-year-old kid from Akron, Ohio, and I'm happy to be a part of such a great company."

The deal was not disclosed publicly but sources said that it easily surpasses the 10-year, $300 million deal Oklahoma City Thunder forward Kevin Durant signed with the world's largest shoe and apparel brand last summer.

Nike has made more versions of James' shoe than for any other athlete outside of Jordan, who is on his 30th Air Jordan. Both James and Nike's business has grown exponentially since 2003, when Nike signed James on the eve of the NBA lottery to a seven-year, $90 million deal, its largest athlete deal ever at the time.

"It meant a lot to me even when I signed my first deal just to be with Nike, and it means even more that they've given me this," James said. "It's like I said, very humbling and grateful, and I'm going to continue to do my job and represent the brand the best way I can, like I know how. Hopefully, people see that." James added.

Nike has made 13 versions of James' signature shoe, and annual sales in 2015 for his line are estimated to top $400 million.

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