The endorsement agreement aligning New Orleans Pelicans No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson and Jordan Brand extends five years and becomes the richest annual rookie shoe deal in NBA history, sources tell ESPN.
Williamson announced the partnership Tuesday on his social media platforms.
The competition to sign Williamson — the national player and freshman of the year at Duke — was intense. Before Williamson committed to Jordan Brand, several shoe competitors made offers on total deals that extended well into the nine-figure range, sources tell ESPN.
Williamson had other offers in excess of $10 million annually, according to reporting from ESPN shoe analyst Nick DePaula.
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Prior to Williamson’s new Jordan Brand deal, LeBron James had the most lucrative annual rookie shoe contract in history.
“I feel incredibly blessed to be a part of the Jordan Brand family,” Williamson said in a statement Tuesday. “Since I was a kid, I dreamed of making it to the league and having the type of impact on the game Michael Jordan had and continues to have today. He was one of those special athletes I looked up to, and I really can’t express how happy and excited I am for this journey.”
Jordan Brand’s roster includes signature sneakers for All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Chris Paul.