Signature sneakers and long-term deals are normally reserved for the NBA’s elite, and Klay Thompson is now one of them. While on a multi-city tour with Anta, Thompson inked a 10-year extension with the company keeping him in the fold until 2026, per Nice Kicks’ Nick DePaula. The extension could be worth as much as $80 million if Thompson meets certain incentives in the deal as it progresses.
Thompson originally signed with the company in 2014 and first introduced his signature sneaker in 2015. The company revealed the KT3, the third and newest edition, of Thompson’s sneaker in May.
In an interview with DePaula, Thompson admitted he didn’t know much about Anta before he signed with them. But the creative control and a signature sneaker enticed him to sign with the company.
Now, that investment is paying off in big money. Thompson has one of the most lucrative sneaker deals in the NBA to go along with his success and notoriety on the court.
Why does Anta value Thompson so much?
Anta doesn’t have a huge client base in the NBA. Aside from Thompson, Rajon Rondo is the only other active player in the league wearing their shoes. Kevin Garnett did have his own signature line, but he retired. Luis Scola was also a client with the company but he’s also no longer in the league.
Despite not having a huge base, Anta struck gold by signing Thompson three years ago. Now that investment is paying off for the company with one of the more high profile players in the NBA in one of the league’s top markets for the industry.
Thompson’s extension could reach $80 million, according to DePaula’s reporting, which would make his deal one of the most lucrative endorsement deals in the league.
The long-term footwear and apparel endorsement deal, struck by Thompson’s Wasserman agent Greg Lawrence, Senior Vice President of Basketball, along with his business manager Joe McLean, will land the explosive sharpshooter among the top 10 highest earning sneaker endorsers among all NBA players. The deal could reach 10 years and $80 Million, with a variety of incentives incorporated into the contract, and will continue to grow his brand throughout both China and the US.
Thompson is one of the best shooters in the league — if not of all time. He’s now a two-time NBA champion, has played on three of the greatest teams ever and is a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
For Nike, Thompson may just be another notch in the belt of their star-laden roster. But for Anta? He’s a diamond-studded buckle. And it’d be the same story for Under Armour and Adidas.
What does this mean for Thompson and why does this deal matter?
Obviously, meeting those incentives to maximize the value in his deal is important to Thompson. But in either case, the deal is a lucrative one and stretches well through the prime of his career. He’s going to be an Anta athlete for the foreseeable future.
For the common man, that doesn’t have the same ring to it as Nike or Adidas — even Under Armour. But for Thompson, it means having to worry even less about the money he makes from the NBA.
Will this effect whatever free agency decisions he’ll make in 2019? Only time will tell. California, and specifically the Bay area, is a great market that sneaker companies want their top athletes and partners to be in. But if Thompson isn’t meeting performance marks on the deal because of less touches, we could see him considering other options in the future.
It’s way, way too early to speculate about any of that, but these things do matter to players when they consider the next steps in their careers. But if there’s one thing that’s for certain, it’s this: With the money he’ll make from both the Warriors and Anta, Thompson will be one of the highest paid athletes in the league.
No matter how you cut it, that’s a great thing for him.