Before Cade Cunningham became the first overall pick at Thursday night’s NBA Draft, he was already Team Nike.
The newly minted Detroit Piston signed an endorsement deal with the Swoosh in the leadup to the draft. He reportedly has more deals in place with food, energy drink, crypto, trading card, and memorabilia companies.
Cunningham wasn’t the only player to cash in on pre-draft hype.
- Jonathan Kuminga, selected seventh by the Golden State Warriors, signed a multiyear shoe deal with Nike before the draft.
- Jalen Green (picked second by the Houston Rockets), Evan Mobley (third, Cleveland Cavaliers), and Jalen Suggs (fifth, Orlando Magic) inked pre-draft contracts with adidas.
- Suggs also signed deals with Chipotle, Wells Fargo, AT&T, 2K Sports, Gatorade, Hugo Boss, New Era, and Wilson, which replaced Spalding as the NBA’s official basketball provider last year.
The draft stayed in Disney’s media empire, with ABC and ESPN simulcasting. It was the 19th consecutive NBA Draft on ESPN.
The NBA’s current broadcast deals run through 2025 and are valued at $24 billion. The league is believed to be seeking pacts worth $75 billion for its next set of media contracts.