Once his current footwear and apparel endorsement deal with Nike comes to an end, Milwaukee Bucks and Greece phenom Giannis Antetokounmpo will undoubtedly be basketball’s hottest sneaker free agent.
With the “Greek Freak” stock rising, his shoe deal is still reasonably low, with his current contract with Nike valued at $25,000. His four-year extension, worth $100,000 is set to kick in at the start of the season, so maybe this is next on Antetokounmpo’s list.
“The bar was set with Porzingis, in terms of financials,” says one brand source. Some industry sources feel the Greek Freak could be looking at as much as $7-10 million annually on a new five-year endorsement deal.
Antetokounmpo is keenly aware of where he ranks among his peers. “I might be the MVP this year,” he told NBA.com earlier this month.He’s long removed from being a shy teenager new to America, famously and sheepishly blown away by his first smoothie.
While he may have taken less than the maximum available on his team deal to allow the Bucks some added flexibility to retool the roster in future summers, he’s confidently looking ahead to hearing the various brand pitches, and hearing how he’ll be best utilized in a company’s plans going forward. Historically, the Milwaukee market has been challenging for footwear brands. According to several brand sources at multiple companies, thanks in part to the modern social media era and Antetokounmpo’s global appeal as a one-of-a-kind athlete, the market isn’t a worry as brands begin to prepare their offers.