On Tuesday, it was announced by NiceKicks that Nike had signed Odell Beckaham Jr. to a lucrative shoe deal. Matching Adidas‘s offer, Nike has committed long-term to the charismatic youngster. The fourth-year wideout is a personality on and off the field. That has paid off for him as he just got the largest shoe endorsement for any football player, ever.
Ultimately, the deal is for five years and $29 million but is packed full of incentives that could max out his deal at eight years and $48 million. Paying out at just over five million a year at its base, Beckham will earn roughly two million more from Nike at least, than he will from his employer.
While this number pales in comparison to Nike’s deals with NBA stars, it is huge for the NFL. The discrepancy between sponsorship dollars the league pulls in has always been erroneous. That is why this Beckham deal could be a turn in the right direction for NFL players.
For point of reference, Tom Brady, arguably the most well-known NFL player makes $8 million total from all of his endorsement deals, according to Forbes. With Nike and Adidas, both prepared to payout for Beckham, could this be a turning point for NFL stardom and endorsement or is Beckham in a league of his own?
While most of his time in the public eye is spent behind a helmet, his personality carriers through and forces people to pay attention. Nike is clearly making a play for Beckham’s off the field presence. Moreover, Nike sees Beckham as a brand ambassador or an “influencer,” as he is synonymous with fashion.
Although, is he starting a trend or is he a maverick going against the traditional edict of an NFL Superstar? The NBA, fashion, designer clothing, and overall outfit creativity is common place. The same is not true for the NFL, past draft-night most players take a more conservative approach. Seemingly, the only protege that Beckham has in the game would be Cam Newton. Pioneer of the now infamous Male Romper, and wearer of elegant hats.
Whether Newton’s outfits are hot or not at least he is out here trying opposed to Phillip Rivers, whom after the birth of his ninth child accepted his role as a cattle farmer in his post game interviews.
By the same token, it appears the standards for dress wear are very low. Ranging from “guy who ordered Lil Ceaser’s 45 minutes ago and it’s still not here,” to “1960’s fraternity brother #5,” all the way to “Wilford Meowski, Bank Of America Assistant Branch Manager in Waterville, Ohio location.”
While the rest of the league does its thing, Beckham will do his. As it currently stands Beckham is not only leading the way in regards making a name for himself but as well as the sport. With Nike, they have a chance to start a new wave for all future and current NFL Players. That and combined with the league allowing celebration to come bac to the game, individuality and expression may go the way of the NBA. Hopefully, as Beckham comes into his own, his success will inspire and lead to the further success of others.