LeBron James has struck sponsorship deals with Ohio State, Kentucky and Miami to wear his Nike-branded gear, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports.
The Buckeyes and Wildcats, two of the more visible college programs, are expected to be ranked among the country’s best basketball teams in 2011-12.
James’ publicist, Keith Estabrook, wouldn’t comment on the deals when approached by the Sun-Sentinel. He suggested the paper direct all questions to Nike. The company did not immediately return an email seeking comment, according to the newspaper.
As pointed out by the Sun-Sentinel, James will follow in the footsteps of Michael Jordan, whose Nike gear is associated with his alma mater, North Carolina. California and Cincinnati also sport the Jordan brand through sponsorship deals.
James has close ties to each of the programs he will sponsor. The Miami Heat forward is from the state of Ohio, openly roots for the school and frequently wears Buckeyes gear. He also maintains a close relationship with Kentucky coach John Calipari and has scrimmaged against players from the Miami Hurricanes program since joining the Heat in 2010.
All three Nike schools have local or personal ties with LeBron and will incorporate his signature line and branding on court. Can we expect new PEs for the three schools?
WRITTEN BY Staff report/Sporting News & FULL STORY HERE
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