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Is Damian Lillard Going To Opt Out Of His Sneaker Deal With adidas At The End Of The NBA Season?

Submitted by on February 24, 2014 – 10:43 amNo Comment

adidas struck gold back in 2012 when they agreed to sign Portland Trail Blazers rookie Damian Lillard to a sneaker endorsement deal. At the time, Lillard wasn’t a super well known entity in the NBA yet. In fact, although he was drafted in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft, most casual NBA fans weren’t aware of who he was. But adidas knew he had the potential to be great, so they inked him to a deal. And he responded by winning the 2012-13 NBA Rookie of the Year award and establishing himself as one of the best point guards in the entire league. So adidas is really, really, really happy to have him right now.

There’s one problem, though: adidas might not have him for very long. Unfortunately, when they signed Lillard to a deal, they included a unique clause in his contract that will allow him to opt out of his deal at the end of the 2013-14 NBA season. And it sounds like that’s exactly what Lillard is going to do. Because he’s had so much success so far, he’s reportedly going to opt out of his adidas deal after the current season to see what he’s worth to other sneaker companies on the free market.

“There’s no doubt about it,” a source close to Lillard said recently. “He’s opting out.”

And while that could be a very good thing for sneaker companies like Nike, Jordan, Reebok, and Under Armour, it’s obviously not a good thing for adidas. The brand has just started to take advantage of their deal with Lillard. But now, he could be leaving, which would be potentially devastating for the brand, especially if he decides to go and capitalize off his recent success by signing with someone like Nike. So adidas needs to do whatever they can to keep him in their sneakers.

How can they do it? For starters, they need to give him a more lucrative deal at the end of the season. They also need to agree to create a signature sneaker for him. And they need to do both of those things quickly to keep him running with adidas. Otherwise, he could be headed for greener pastures. And that would be very bad for business.

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