Giannis Antetokounmpo, aka The Greek Freak, is set to become a “sneaker free agent” on September 30th when his contract with Nike officially expires and brands like Adidas and Chinese sportswear company Li-Ning are looking to poach the 22-year old All-Star forward.
According to ESPN’s Nick DePaula, Adidas made their pitch to Giannis earlier this week, which included some talk about how the brand recently jumped over Jordan Brand in the United States and how they view Giannis as the next global game-changer under the Adidas umbrella, following in the footsteps of Muhammad Ali, Arthur Ashe and Jesse Owens.
Of course, they also hooked him up with a van full of Adidas gear, including boxes and boxes of Yeezys, which were delivered by Antetokounmpo’s teammate, and Adidas brand athlete, Thon Maker.https://twitter.com/_/status/910547323691978752
According to Nick DePaula, Adidas, Nike and Li-Ning have all offered the Greek Freak his own signature shoe which would likely launch during the 2018-19 NBA season. For the current season, he’d lead a series of Milwaukee Bucks inspired player exclusives of each brand’s current featured models, such as the Adidas Crazy Explosive 2017, Nike Kobe A.D. or Li-Ning Yu Shuai 11, depending on who he signs with.
Ultimately, Nike has the upper hand because they hold the right to match any offer presented to Giannis. Nike’s pitch, according to Nick DePaula, focused on the fact that Antetokounmpo would become just the 22nd player to ever receive his own signature sneaker with the illustrious brand.
Li-Ning is expected to make the highest offer among the three brands at more than eight figures annually. Additionally, the contract could possibly feature an equity or stock component which is unlike anything Nike or Adidas would offer.
Should Giannis Antetokounmpo decide to sign a contract with either Adidas or Li-Ning, Nike would have 20 business days to decide whether to match or watch the Bucks’ rising star grow with another company.https://twitter.com/_/status/911008313919275008