With the NBA being one of the world’s most popular and highly profitable leagues, it comes as absolutely no surprise that a number of top athletes and superstar calibre names are being offered a hefty sum of sponsorships and endorsements to help promote a variety of major brands and products to a mainstream audience.
These are the biggest endorsement deals for some of the NBA’s top star athletes across various fashion brands and products that have allowed such athletes to walk away with an even greater figure alongside their outrageous NBA supermax contracts.
- LeBron James – LA Lakers:
With King James being among one of the world’s most famous sporting figures and a player that has been dominating the league since he was drafted in 2003 straight from high school, LeBron has amassed various high-profile endorsement deals with various brands, with perhaps his most lucrative being his active deal with global sporting fashion outlet Nike.
James currently earns upwards of a $70 million cut of endorsement money which accumulates to around 64% of his yearly income.
In 2015, James pinned a lifetime deal with Nike, which is the same fashion brand that he has been signed to since his rookie season, with LeBron even reportingly selling numerous minority stakes in various mainstream companies such as Nike, RedBird Capital Partners, Fenway Sports Group, Epic Games for an estimated value upwards of $725 million according to Forbes magazine.
James has recently become the highest-earning active NBA player in the league’s history and with his preposterous longevity and high IQ play, King James could well be dominating the league for years to come and as such remains as one of the league’s most highly popular players, which often leaves him as a touted favourite in various individual awards and team accolades in the latest NBA odds.
- Kevin Durant – Brooklyn Nets:
Durant is often left in the conversation as being second to LeBron James for varying reasons which often include the conversation for the best basketball player in the world, however, Durant has amassed an unprecedented following across all social media channels and has carved out a tremendous name for himself as one of the all-time greats of the sport.
Alongside the supermax $165 million four-year deal that he is collecting on a yearly basis since signing with the Nets back in 2019, Durant is also earning roughly $35million per year for endorsements alone that include deals with Nike, Alaska Air Group, Beats by Dre, American Family Insurance, BBVA, NBA 2K, Gatorade and Sonic Drive-In amongst others.
KD has become one of the league’s biggest and most prestigious star prologues since he was drafted second overall in 2007 and is now looking to add even more incredible accolades to his first ballot hall of fame worthy career with a third NBA championship ring with the once lowly Brooklyn Nets.
- Stephen Curry – Golden State Warriors:
At this current juncture, Stephen Curry is the highest-paid player in the NBA, as he is earning a mammoth $215 million four-year extension that was dotted back in August 2021, which could likely leave Curry as the NBA’s biggest star of the current era.
Steph is breaking records both on and off the court and has thus been treated to a plethora of sublime endorsement deals that have stemmed from the likes of Chase bank, Rakuten, Infiniti Motor Company, FTX Trading Limited, and Palm to name a few of the many high-profile deals that he since signed on the dotted line.
Curry is widely regarded as the greatest shooter that the game has ever witnessed and with the Golden State Warriors looking to mount another charge for the NBA Championship this season, Curry will be their best bet to achieve this milestone in addition to the returns of star names such as Klay Thompson and Draymond Green from ravaging injuries.
- Michael Jordan – Retired (formally of the Chicago Bulls and Washington Wizards):
While there are other NBA superstars who have become mainstay names for various brands and wider endorsements such as Giannis Antetokounmpo, Russell Westbrook, and Kawhi Leonard to name a few, no endorsement deals come far greater or as of much prestige and influence as the original Nike deal that Michael Jordan dotted way back in 1984.
Jordan was one of the sport’s most highly touted young prospects and chose to sign with Nike at the age of 21, instead of heading to more fabled brands during that time such as Converse.
Since Jordan signed the deal, worth approximately $500,000 per year, Jordan’s popularity grew to astronomical figures as he quickly became the most famous athlete on the planet throughout the late 1980s to the early 2000s.
(Michael Jordan’s “Maybe it’s My Fault” Nike Commercial)
As such, Jordan’s net worth ranges in the region of £2 billion, and as such remains the richest athlete in all major sports, with some otherwise investments including the purchase of his hometown NBA franchise the Charlotte Hornets, of which he is now the owner of the team.