Kevin Durant's representation Roc Nation Sports informed Nike on Wednesday that he has a deal on the table with Under Armour worth between $265 million and $285 million over 10 years, sources told ESPN.com. The deal includes Under Armour stock and other incentives, such a community center built in his mother's name, whose exact worth will not be known for some time. Nike, which saw its signature business related to the Oklahoma City Thunder forward grow to roughly $175 million at retail last season, will have the right to match, which is a condition of Durant's current contract with the brand. Durant can still choose Nike if it doesn't match but can't legally choose Under Armour if Nike does. Nike's last offer, sources said, would have given Durant a base and a minimum royalty guarantee that would equal no less than $20 million a year. If Under Armour wins the services of Durant, it would be the largest sponsorship deal the company has ever committed to. The average of $26.5 million to $28.5 million means that Under Armour would be devoting nearly 10 percent of its current annual marketing budget on him. Although Under Armour has given investors guidance that it might hit $3 billion in revenues this year, only about 1 percent of that is from basketball shoes. Because Under Armour has such a small basketball business, the company has to guarantee Durant his money up front, instead of the typical shoe deals that offer a minimum guarantee plus up to 5 percent royalty on the wholesale revenues. Michael Jordan, for example, made more than $100 million last year from Nike largely from royalties on sales of his Jordan brand. Durant's potential move to Under Armour, despite the lure of more guaranteed money, is surprising if only for the fact that he was one of the most loyal Nike athletes. In 2007, before he played in his first NBA game, Durant wanted to sign with Nike badly enough that the $60 million contract he signed with the Swoosh was more than $20 million less than what Adidas had offered. But sources say his move to Jay Z's Roc Nation last summer started to turn the tables. His new agents were interested in a stronger negotiation including both Under Armour and Adidas, which dropped out last week. Durant's shoe deal free agency to Under Armour turned out to be a bigger deal because of the interest expressed by the company's founder and CEO Kevin Plank. Sources say Plank felt Durant could accomplish two major goals: growing its small shoe business and improving its international presence that has been lagging behind its North American sales growth.
Sources: Durant offer by UA at least $265M
ESPN | Aug 22