Puma signed Marvin Bagley III to a five-year shoe and apparel deal Thursday. This is the first deal the company has had since signing Vince Carter back in 1998.
Bagley, 19, is projected to be a top-five draft pick in this year’s NBA Draft. According to The Oregonian, Nike was the forerunner to land Bagley since the company sponsored his high school and college teams. Bagley’s decision to sign with Puma came to the surprise of many, considering it has not had any business in the NBA in the 21st century.
Signing a big star like Bagley is an important first step for Puma to re-enter the basketball shoe game. The five-year contract will be the biggest rookie deal since Kevin Durant’s seven-year, $60 million Nike deal in 2007, The Athletic reports.
What does this new endorsement mean for Bagley? He’ll get paid a hefty amount, though it has not yet been reported exactly how much he will earn. For the NBA, this deal adds more competition to the short list of major sports endorsers. Although Nike, Adidas and Under Armour lead the way, signing a star like Bagley even before he enters the league can certainly help Puma’s chances of catching up to the others.