Here’s A Look At 4 Athletes With the Coolest Brand Deals

In the world of sports, athletes are not only celebrated for their prowess on the field but also for their ability to transcend their respective games and become iconic figures. Their influence extends beyond stadiums, shaping industries and cultures. Just see how basketball legend Michael Jordan has redefined the athlete-brand relationship with his groundbreaking Nike brand deal since 1984. With the help of the NBA star, Nike’s share of the performance basketball market, including the Jordan Brand, grew to 86% by 2019.

Jordan’s success paved the way for other athletes to secure lucrative brand deals. Today, we’ll explore the brand collaborations of four athletes who have undoubtedly secured some of the coolest deals.

Lionel Messi and Adidas

While Jordan didn’t push through with his initial choice of brand deal, Adidas, the top Nike competitor, did not fail in tapping other top athletes to represent the German corporation. This was how Lionel Messi, the soccer maestro and Paris Saint-Germain star, dazzled fans with his exceptional skills and solidified his status as a brand icon.

In 2017, Messi signed a lifetime sponsorship agreement with Adidas. This exclusive deal is valued at an impressive $25 million per year, providing Messi with a continuous stream of income for the rest of his life. In addition to the financial aspect, Messi’s commitment to Adidas has been unwavering, with the Barcelona star wearing Adidas in his everyday fits consistently.

Kylian Mbappé and Oakley

Paris Saint-Germain football star Kylian Mbappé ventured into the realm of style with a visionary collaboration. Within the world of eyewear, Oakley sunglasses are known to cater to athletes of different sports, from Sutro appealing to cyclists to Hydra enticing surfers. Therefore, it was no surprise that Mbappé chose the luxury lifestyle brand to partner with in 2022. This collaboration gave birth to the “Signature Series” collection of eyewear.

This collection showcases Mbappé’s keen sense of style, blending brown and gold color palettes with updated designs. Beyond the aesthetic appeal, the collection includes functional elements like the BiO-Matter™ frame and the Prizm™ lenses, demonstrating the athlete’s attention to detail both on and off the field.

Steph Curry and Under Armour

Moving to the basketball court, Golden State Warriors’ Steph Curry has not only redefined the game with his exceptional three-point shooting but has also made a lasting impact in the business world. This is best seen with Curry’s long-term deal with Under Armour, a partnership that started in 2013 and has since gone beyond mere endorsement.

Under Armour has not only been a financial backer but has entrusted Curry with the role of president of Curry Brand, which was established in 2020. This distinctive collaboration has seen Curry actively involved in athlete insights, product development, and strategic growth. Under Armour’s trust in Curry reflects the athlete’s influence as a transformative figure both on and off the basketball court.

Roger Federer and Uniqlo

Meanwhile, tennis icon Roger Federer ventured into fashion, showcasing a blend of elegance and business acumen. Uniqlo clothing is recognized for its quality, versatile basics, and innovative fabric technologies. This ethos of the Japanese retailer aligned seamlessly with Federer’s dream to create a collection that’s perfect for both tennis and casual wear.

His recent collaboration with JW Anderson includes nine genderless pieces that all make use of Uniqlo’s Dry Ex material. The collaboration has not only elevated Federer’s brand but has also contributed to Uniqlo’s market presence, with the athlete doubling as a national ambassador of the brand since 2018.

From groundbreaking lifetime deals to active involvement in brand development, these athletes have not only excelled in their respective sports but have also left an indelible mark on the world of business and fashion. Their brand deals reflect their marketability and simultaneously the changing landscape of athlete endorsements in the 21st century.

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