Dwyane Wade has signed a new contract—a lifetime deal at that—with his sneaker company before an NBA team.
On the day that his latest signature shoe Way of Wade 7 was launched, the three-time champion and 12-time All-Star was locked in by Chinese apparel brand Li-Ning, after Wade, who had also endorsed Converse and Jordan Brand, joined them in 2012. Financial details of the landmark re-signing have yet to be disclosed, but it was reported that the superstar's total earnings "could reach tens of millions of dollars."
"This was something I needed to do from the standpoint of building something," Wade told The Associated Press. "That's what I set out to do. This word we all talk about, legacy, I tried to set out to build a legacy for myself and my family. And after six years of that, it's cool to be here today."
Regardless of whether he returns to the league next season or not, the third-best shooting guard of all time is basically set for life from a monetary standpoint. It's a good thing he made such a wise business decision, just like these other "forever" brand ambassadors.
Michael Jordan (Nike)
While it has been speculated that LeBron James' lifetime deal is a first in Nike history, Jordan's unparalleled contribution and influence to the Swoosh makes him the unofficial pioneer. In 2016, CNN reported that the company has paid the retired GOAT "over $473 million" since 1993, while ESPN estimated that his personal brand generates a $2.5 billion annual income for Nike. In turn, Jordan earned $110 million through the corporate umbrella, according to Forbes.
Walt Frazier (Puma)
Puma rocked the boat in its return to the basketball shoe market by signing touted rookies Deandre Ayton and Marvin Bagley III as the newest ambassadors. But their biggest fish was easily Frazier, whom the brand collaborated with way back in 1973, giving birth to the iconic Puma Clyde. They recently re-signed the New York Knicks legend for life, which is rather fitting for a name that has become synonymous with the trademark "formstrip."
Allen Iverson (Reebok)
As simple as it was for AI to score, the sneaker contract that he signed in 2001 couldn't be more complicated. Apparently, Reebok is bound to pay the 43-year-old former NBA MVP $800,000 annually until he turns 55 in 2030, when he's set to receive a $32-million trust fund. But due to a postnuptial agreement, Iverson can only get half of the said amount after his divorce from high-school sweetheart Tawanna Iverson in 2013.
LeBron James (Nike)
Locking up the best player in the world is a no-brainer, so the next question is, "For how much?" When GQ did a story on LeBron's agent Maverick Carter in 2016, the interviewer confirmed if the agreement was indeed worth Kanye's ballpark figure of $1 billion. Carter reportedly just smiled and pointed one finger skyward before saying, "As great as I feel, as great as LeBron feels—Nike feels fantastic about it. It's the largest deal in the history of the company."