Andrew Wiggins is about to enter the zany zone where he’s engulfed by cameras as the most heavily hyped amateur athlete since LeBron James. And with James, the Internet, social media and camera phones hadn’t yet become omnipresent like they are in today’s culture. Since Wiggins is a shy teenager from Canada, this could be a problem. But there might be 180 million reasons to get over the introversion.
An industry source, the publisher of Kixinthecity.com, and a person familiar with Wiggins’ inner-circle at Kansas, all tell Bleacher Report’s Jared Zwerling that adidas is so high on him, they could offer anywhere from $140 to $180 million right after he declares (if he declares) for next summer’s draft:
“(Adidas) is easily the front-runner, 100 percent,” said Rich Lopez, the publisher of the popular sneaker website KixandtheCity.com.
“From what I’m hearing, (Adidas) is really high on him,” an industry source said. “I’ve heard a range for sure, from like $140 to $180 million for like 10 years. That’s a big deal for a kid coming out of school because most rookie deals are probably like four years.”
“I’m hearing from people at Kansas that he’s got a $180 million offer supposedly coming from Adidas,” a source close to Wiggins’ inner circle said. “But I also heard that Nike is going to match anything.”
Zwerling goes on to list the competitors for Wiggins’ services, like Nike, who Wiggins has worn through high school and who they’re connected to through his AAU club, CIA; Under Armour, who just signed Stephen Curry; ANTA, Rajon Rondo and Kevin Garnett‘s outfitters; and Li-Ning the apparel goliath that dominates the Chinese market and landed Dwyane Wade.
Wiggins is so hyped, all of the big time sneaker companies â€” as well as some of the smaller brands â€” are already ramping up their strategy for landing the Canadian high-flyer. If you think the smaller brand names don’t stand a chance, David Halberstam’s book about Michael Jordan‘s status as a global pitchman and seller of Nike wares, Playing For Keeps, features a section about Nike’s pitch to MJ after he left UNC. At the time, Nike was an underdog in the basketball battles behind Converse, who outfitted Larry Bird and Magic Johnson. Now Nike controls 92 percent of the market share, according to Zwerling.
Obviously Jordan’s game played a large role in that profound shift in the sneaker landscape, and Nike marketed him incredibly well. But MJ’s effect on the game is still being felt, and it’s why many believe Wiggins could stand to become a very rich teenager before even stepping onto an NBA court.
What do you think
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