Russell Westbrook averaged a triple-double on his way to the 2016-2017 NBA MVP, and he did it while rocking Jordan Brand. Now, after that memorable and historic season, Nick DePaula of ESPN brings word that Westbrook will be spending the next 10 years as “the face of the brand.”
The report indicates that Westbrook will be locked up with Jordan Brand through the 2025-2016 NBA season and it is described as “the most lucrative total endorsement deal for a Jordan athlete to date.” Prior to this agreement, Westbrook’s signature shoes of been off-court models but, as DePaula writes, the new contract sets up his first on-court signature with the brand to accompany his transition to a bigger spotlight.
Now that the decade-long deal has been locked in, the process is underway to begin developing an on-court Westbrook signature. The shoe is expected to undoubtedly highlight his flashy and unpredictable fashion lens — “unlike anything that Jordan Brand has done before” — according to an industry source. There’s also been a distinct separation in his tastes for games and lifestyle sneakers, as he prefers deconstructed and simplified casual shoes off the court, versus highly sculpted, molded and responsive basketball shoes.
It remains to be seen as to what Westbrook’s new line of sneakers will resemble but this is huge news in the sneaker industry. Jordan Brand has been notoriously frugal about handing out this kind of investment in the form of a signature and that makes sense within the shadow of, well, Michael Jordan himself. Still, this investment in Russell Westbrook looks to a massive one, even before we know financial details of what it will resemble — DePaula reported that “Westbrook has been positioned as the face of the brand.”
Westbrook’s performance a season ago helped to vault him to a new level among fans and pundits alike but his on-court impact wasn’t the only thing affected by the MVP showing. Now that this is out of the way, Thunder fans will hope that their star focuses his attention on signing a different extension.