Updated 03:53 PM EST, Thu, Dec 02, 2021

Kevin Durant Shoes: No Under Armour? Nike Offers $265M

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Nike has lured the Oklahoma City Thunder's Kevin Durant back into its fold.

With the expiration date looming for Durant's seven-year contract with Nike, Under Armour offered him a 10-year deal worth $265-$285 million, said ESPN. However, Nike reportedly used its right-to-match card on the All Star athlete on Saturday.

According to The Sports Xchange, the widely popular shoe brand's officials told Durant and his representatives at Jay Z's Roc Nation Sports that they would match what Under Armour is offering.

Initially, Nike was laying out a $20 million a year deal but "that was far from what Durant was looking for," ESPN added.

While ESPN does not know the exact price, it estimated that the deal would give Durant more than the Thunder's payment for his services in the next two seasons: $41.2 million.

CBS Sports said the deal might end up at $300 million if the business continues to rise, citing a tweet by Darren Rovell.

If Durant chose Under Armour, his Oklahoma City fanbase knows that the move may also sway him to play for the Washington Wizards after the 2015-16 season, as he enters free agency, ESPN said.

ESPN further noted: "Indications were strong that Durant would go to Under Armour, which was essentially willing to commit more than eight percent of its annual marketing budget solely to the basketball star -- and that doesn't even include the marketing the company would do to promote the relationship. The deal with Durant would have largely trumped Under Armour's largest sponsorship deal, surpassing the $16.5 million a year the brand pays soccer club Tottenham for its kit rights."

That is an indication of what New York Daily News said was Under Armour's perception of marketability for the five-time All Star and current NBA MVP.

Durant's signature "KD" shoes raked in $175 million at retail in 2014, noted ESPN, citing retail tracking firm SportsOneSource. This is as Nike priced the shoe at $125 and had limited distribution, it added. 

Forbes commented that the current KD VII, sold at $150, is priced too low and with the deal in the works, "a higher price is expected."

Omar Saad, senior managing director of ISI, said that he never doubted that Nike would pull all the stops at the dying hours, ESPN reported. With Nike, he said, Durant has a niche different from the brands of the Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James, Kobe Bryant of the Los Angeles Lakes and legend Michael Jordan of the Chicago Bulls.

"For Nike, this was nothing to them ... They could easily build Durant's business enough, assuming normal margins, where they could generate a cash flow of $60 million a year," Saad said, as quoted by ESPN. "And Nike is really good at monetizing its marketing assets, way better than anyone else."

In a recent tweet, Durant said he was happy with his decision to stay with Nike. With the move, Forbes said Stephen Curry remains Under Armour's top endorser.

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