Zion announced his deal with Jordan Brand in July, reportedly leaving millions on the table in doing so.

By Emily Caron
August 02, 2019

Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson joined Jumpman in July and reportedly passed up major offers from other brands to sign with Jordan Brand on a record-setting rookie sneaker deal worth $75 million over five years.

According to ESPN, brands like Li-Ning reportedly prepared an aggressive that would have paid him approximately $20 million per year. Puma, who many considered to be the other Williamson frontrunner, reportedly offered $15 million per year for the No. 1 pick's signature. Anta, represented by current brand headliner Klay Thompson, also made a starting offer of $15 million per year.

Williamson ultimately left significant money on the table to sign with Jordan Brand and Nike. While Nike was involved in the process and the company-wide resources were part of the pitch, the plan had always been to recruit Williamson to the $3 billion Jordan sub-brand. Williamson was ultimately swayed by the way Nike and Jordan Brand have celebrated athletes throughout the company's history.

Adidas, on the other hand, failed in their pursuit of Williamson despite the brand's connection to the star throughout his high school career. Adidas sponsored both his Spartanburg Day high school team and AAU team Williamson played for, yet the brand failed to even pitch an actual contract to the young superstar. Adidas formed a "Zion Committee" to create presentation decks and product designs for their eventual pitch but never even ended up presenting to the family.

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