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Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Kyrie Irving Inks Signature Shoe Deal With China’s Anta

  • Irving is joining Anta after Nike terminated his sneaker deal last year.
  • The Chinese brand will leverage Irving to grow its U.S. distribution and athlete endorsement roster.
Irving said his previous Nike shoes generated $2.6 billion.
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Mavericks guard Kyrie Irving has signed a sneaker contract with Chinese sportswear brand Anta in a deal that also sees him become the company’s chief creative officer.

The “lucrative” shoe deal is for five years, according to The Athletic, and will bring a portion of Anta’s manufacturing to the U.S. to grow the company’s distribution in the country. Anta reported $7.7 billion in revenue in fiscal 2021, which puts it significantly behind Nike’s $46 billion annual revenue that it reported last year. 

Irving was previously signed to Nike, but the shoe brand ended its relationship with him last year after he shared antisemitic conspiracy theories on social media. The embattled point guard joins Anta shortly after signing a three-year $126 million contract with the Dallas Mavericks in June. 

Earlier this month, Irving said that his Nike signature shoe line generated “over $2.6 Billion in revenue the past 7 years.” Anta will launch Irving’s inaugural on-court signature shoes in the first quarter of 2024, with the full range of Irving-endorsed products set to hit the market simultaneously.

Irving will seek to “recruit basketball players, independent brands, influential figures in pop culture, artists, musicians, pioneers in environmentalism, trailblazers in humanitarianism, and designers” for Anta product collaborations, the company said in a press release. 

In 2017, Anta signed Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson to a shoe deal reportedly worth up to $80 million over ten years. Other NBA players to sign endorsements with Anta include Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett, Max Strus, Alex Caruso, Gordon Hayward, and Terance Mann.

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