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As Canadian basketball phenom anticipates huge sneaker deal, six of the biggest sponsorships of all time

Andrew Wiggins, the much-hyped college basketball player who is expected to be the next top NBA draft pick, appears to be in line for a major sneaker sponsorship deal.

The Bleacher Report suggests that Adidas is considering paying the Canadian as much as $180-million (U.S.) over 10 years. The sports news website also reports that Nike is prepared to match any offer.

However, the apparel companies can't meet with or present offers to Mr. Wiggins, who is from Thornhill, Ont., until he finishes his season at the University of Kansas and declares himself eligible for the 2014 draft next summer.

How do the jaw-dropping figures being floated for Mr. Wiggins compare with other high-profile sports endorsements? Here's a look at some of the biggest athlete sponsorship deals.

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Michael Jordan - $500,000 per year

Nike’s most high-profile endorsement was to NBA player Michael Jordan. The company signed the Chicago Bulls player when he entered the league in 1984 for a reported five-year deal worth $500,000 annually, a sum that would later balloon, and used him to sell countless pairs of his signature Air Jordans.

Tiger Woods - $40-million over five years

Mr. Woods has been with the world’s largest sportswear company since he turned pro in 1996, signing a contract worth $40-million over five years. Nike renewed the deal in 2000, when it signed him to a five-year $100-million contract that was the richest ever given to an athlete at the time. The company stuck by the golf champion after his 2009 infidelity scandal, with controversial ads that included one earlier this year quoting his familiar refrain: “Winning takes care of everything.” .

LeBron James - $90-million over seven years

The 18-year-old landed a seven-year, $90-million endorsement deal with Nike in 2003, before he had even began playing for the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was a prescient move: Mr. James has won four Most Valuable Player awards.

David Beckham - $160-million lifetime deal

The British soccer star signed a $160-million lifetime deal with Adidas in 2003. The fashionable player also reportedly gets paid for promotional work and earns part of the profit on his branded products for the label.

Derrick Rose - $260-million over 14 years

The Chicago Bulls superstar reportedly signed a 14-year contract with Adidas for $260-million in 2011. “Man, it’s definitely a blessing,” Mr. Rose told the Chicago Tribune in early 2012. “They’ve been with me since the beginning and stuck with me and I’m happy I’m a part of them for the rest of my life. They’ve been doing everything promotional-wise to make sure they put me out there, marketing me great all over the world. That’s all I needed from them.”

Rory McIlroy - $250-million over 10 years

Nike signed a lucrative sponsorship deal with then-No. 1-ranked golfer for a reported $250-million over 10 years in January, 2013. “I don’t play golf for the money, I am well past that,” Mr. McIlroy said at the time. “I’m a major champion and world No.1, which I have always dreamed of being, and feel this is a company that can help me sustain that and win even more major titles. At the end of 2013, if I have not won another major I will be disappointed.” As part of the deal, the Northern Irishman started using Nike clubs – and then began to slip in the rankings.

Sources: The Associated Press, Reuters, Globe archives

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