Andrew Wiggins has not even yet played in a meaningful game for the University of Kansas Jayhawks and his image has already been splashed all over the front cover of Sports Illustrated.
Now comes a report that the 18-year-old Toronto native could command as much as $180-million in a shoe contract this summer if he does the expected and declares himself eligible for the 2014 NBA draft.
Jared Zwerling is reporting on Bleacher Report that an epic race is developing amongst competing shoe companies to get Wiggins signature on an endorsement contract.
Zwerling said that he has been told by three unnamed sources that Adidas has already pegged Wiggins as their prime target and are willing to break the bank in order to have him promote the company’s products.
"(Adidas) is easily the front-runner, 100 per cent," said Rich Lopez, the publisher of the popular sneaker website KixandtheCity.com.
"From what I'm hearing, (Adidas) is really high on him," an industry source told Zwerling. "I've heard a range for sure, from like $140- to $180-million for like 10 years. That's a big deal for a kid coming out of school because most rookie deals are probably like four years."
"I'm hearing from people at Kansas that he's got a $180-million offer supposedly coming from Adidas," a source close to Wiggins's inner circle is quoted as saying. "But I also heard that Nike is going to match anything."
Due to stringent NCAA guidelines, no meetings with Wiggins or official offers can be tendered until he declares for the draft following his freshman season at Kansas.
That declaration is considered almost a certainty as the dynamic 6-foot-8 forward is already being hailed as the top prospect available.
Although such a deal would be unprecedented for the amount of money rumoured to be available for Wiggins, shoe companies have shown in the past that they are willing to gorge when it comes to signing up potential young stars.
In 2003, before LeBron James was chosen with the No. 1 pick by the Cleveland Cavaliers, he was lavished with a seven-year, $90-million endorsement deal with Nike.Report Typo/Error