Nike Checkmates Under Armour’s Fat Durant Shoe Deal

In this world it seems that everything is a competition and no one is more cognizant about that fact today than athletic apparel company Under Armour.  Several weeks ago the company raised eyebrows throughout the industry by offering NBA MVP Kevin Durant and whopping $285 million shoe deal for the Durantula to be the face of their basketball brand over the next 10 years. Durant’s shoe deal with Nike for seven years $60 million is expiring. 

According to ESPN, Nike then offered him a one year deal worth $20 million.  However, that wasn’t what he was looking for.  So, the stars appeared to be aligned for Kevin and Under Armour to embark on a beautiful business relationship together.  But Nike was like “Not so fast my friend” in their Lee Corso voice.  Nike reportedly told Durant and his Roc Nation Sports representatives that they match the offer put forth by Under Armour. 

"For Nike, this was nothing to them," Analyst Omar Saad of ISI told ESPN. "They could easily build Durant’s business enough, assuming normal margins, where they could generate a cash flow of $60 million a year. And Nike is really good at monetizing its marketing assets, way better than anyone else."

Nike had until next Thursday to match the Under Armour offer according to clause in Durant’s contract.  Durant’s deal with Under Armour also included 10 percent stock in the company and a community center in his mother’s name.  It’s unclear whether these incentives were also matched by Nike. 

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