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Kevin Durant offered over $265 million deal by Under Armour

Kevin Durant where amazing happens

Under Armour has just given a huge wake-up call to Nike.

The Maryland-based sports equipment and apparel company has offered Kevin Durant a 10-year deal worth between $265-285 million, according to an ESPN report. The deal includes stock offers and other incentives for Durant.

Nike has the option to match the offer from Under Armour. If they choose to do so, Durant would be contractually obligated to stay with them.

Durant visited the UA headquarters last week and ended up staying there the entire day despite only planning to remain for a few hours. ESPN described UA’s pitch to Durant as impressive. They say he even worked out in their basketball shoes.

Only a tiny portion of UA’s annual revenue comes from basketball-related products, so this would be a huge way for them to grow in the market. They already made a big move last year by signing Steph Curry away from Nike and are looking to steal another one of the swoosh’s top athletes.

A big part of their sales pitch will be tying together theirs and Durant’s DC/Maryland-area roots. UA’s headquarters are less than 40 miles from where Durant grew up.

Durant wanted to sign with Nike so badly coming out of college that he turned down an offer from adidas for 33 percent more money — $20 million in all. Will he be as generous this time around? We will soon find out, but one thing is for certain — his new representation at Roc Nation Sports has him shopping for the best deal.

NBA announces sale of Clippers to Steve Ballmer has been finalized

Steve BallmerThe NBA announced on Tuesday that the sale of the Los Angeles Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has been finalized. The $2 billion transaction had previously been approved by the NBA Board of Governors, and Tuesday’s closing officially makes Ballmer the team’s new governor.

The finalization of the sale was made possible by a California court confirming that Shelly Sterling had the power to sell the Clippers on behalf of the Sterling Family Trust. Sterling was previously deemed mentally incapacitated by two doctors and was removed as co-trustee. The 80-year-old fought the ruling in court but was unsuccessful.

While it would not be surprising if Sterling continued to explore avenues to sue the NBA, it sounds like he does not have much legal ground to stand on.

The Clippers are planning to hold a fan festival at the Staples Center on Monday to introduce Ballmer as the team’s new owner. Doc Rivers and the Clippers players will be in attendance.

“This is an amazing new day in Clippers history,” Rivers said Tuesday. “I couldn’t be more excited to work together with Steve as we continue to build a first-class, championship organization. I am already inspired by Steve’s passion for the game, his love of competition and desire to win the right way and I know our players and fans are going to be inspired as well.”

Ballmer said in a statement that he will be “hardcore” in trying to put the Clippers in a position to win.

“I am humbled and honored to be the new owner of the Los Angeles Clippers,” he said. “Clipper fans are so amazing. I will be hardcore in giving the team, our great coach, staff and players the support they need to do their best work on the court. We will do whatever necessary to provide our fans and their families with the best game-night experience in the NBA.”

Adam Silver was confident the NBA would force Sterling out from the second his racist audio rant went viral. The new NBA commissioner made good on his promise.

Nike wants Jimbo Fisher to not let his son wear Under Armour

Jimbo-Fisher-son

Jimbo Fisher and his son shared a great moment back in November after Florida State came away with a huge win over Miami. You would have to be cold-hearted to not crack a smile watching 9-year-old Ethan sprint into his dad’s arms. The folks at Nike were frowning.

The Wall Street Journal has uncovered an email exchange that took place between a Nike official and Florida State administrators hours after the Seminoles’ Nov. 2 victory. After congratulating FSU on their big win and thanking them for “everything you all do for us,” Nike assistant director of football sports marketing Mark Dupes had an interesting favor to ask.

“Hey got a text from the USA Director of Sports Marketing last night telling me of how good things look w FSU and our players and sideline staff, exposure for the Brand was exceptional. Then 5 min later I rec a new message…Said ABC cameras were on Jimbo and his Son ad end of the game…His son was Wearing Under Armour FSU sweatshirt! Ouch. Can we please ask Jimbo to eliminate that from the son’s wardrobe in the future! Let me know if I can help w anything. Thx guys. MD”

Yes, Nike was concerned about a 9-year-old wearing an Under Armour sweatshirt. The Wall Street Journal asked FSU’s senior associate athletics director Monk Bonasorte about the request, and he said FSU administrators interpreted it as a “joke.”

“What am I going to do, go to coach and say, ‘Hey can you take that shirt off him?’” Bonasorte said. “I’m not going to call Jimbo Fisher and tell him what his son can wear.”

Nike said in a statement that its relationship with FSU athletics does not extend to the coach’s family and Fisher declined to comment. For what it’s worth, Ethan was shown wearing Nike brand apparel during and after subsequent games — including when the Seminoles defeated Auburn in the BCS National Championship Game.

We know Nike is protective of its powerful brand, but that seems like a bit much.

Cowboys print and send playoff tickets to season ticket holders

Cowboys-playoff-tickets

If the Dallas Cowboys silence their critics and reach the postseason in 2014, we already know what the tickets to the games will look like. How? Because the team has already printed them.

As ESPN’s Darren Rovell revealed on Friday, Cowboys season ticket holders received a sheet of playoff tickets with their season ticket packages this week, including tickets to a potential NFC Championship Game in Dallas. Considering the Cowboys have not reached the playoffs since 2009 or played in the NFC Championship Game in almost 20 years, the pre-printing has been met with plenty of scrutiny.

However, there is reason to believe the Cowboys are simply the first team to do what many others will soon do. If you remember, the Green Bay Packers had trouble selling out a playoff game last season because of the bitter cold. The Cincinnati Bengals also had problems unloading their last-minute tickets. Getting the actual tickets in the hands of season ticket holders in advance could help prevent that.

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Lil Wayne becoming sports manager and Cristiano Ronaldo will be his first client

Lil Wayne Jimmy KimmelLil Wayne is following in the footsteps of Jay-Z and starting his own sports management company. According to TMZ, the first client Weezy is adding to his roster is a big one. Some of you know him as Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo and Lil Wayne are apparently friends, and Wayne has wanted to get into the sports management business for a while. His company will be affiliated with PolarisSports, which is a division of the well-known CAA agency. Ronaldo’s agent Jorge Mendes is a part of CAA.

TMZ reports that Lil Wayne’s new company will handle Ronaldo’s marketing and endorsement deals in the United States. We have all seen how successful Jay-Z’s Roc Nation sports has been and the type of big-name clients the music juggernaut has been able to attract. Having Ronaldo as his first client could lead to the same type of success for Lil Wayne.

Sydney Leroux partners with Kobe Bryant’s drink company

Sydney-Leroux

One of our favorite soccer players in the world is officially partners with Kobe Bryant and his sports drink. Bryant, who owns more than a 10% stake in BodyArmor Super Drink, announced on Thursday that Sydney Leroux is the first female athlete the beverage company has signed.

“Proud to announce @drinkbodyarmor has signed our first female athlete @sydneyleroux,” Kobe wrote on Instagram. “She’s taking over the @drinkbodyarmor Twitter handle and live tweeting during #usaVgermany match #upgradetheroster #upgradetheathlete #upgradeyoursportsdrink #ladymamba.”

Lady mamba? That’s some serious praise from the five-time NBA champion. In addition to being a soccer player, Leroux has also tried her hand at boxing and even toyed with golf. She also happens to absolutely dominate a bikini. Her endorsement of BodyArmor has won me over.

Michael Jordan officially a billionaire?

Michael-Jordan-Neighbors-AnnoyedMichael Jordan is finally a billionaire, according to an article that was published in Forbes on Thursday.

Jordan, who earns an estimated $90 million per year through endorsement deals, his clothing and shoe company, the Charlotte Hornets and other avenues, was estimated to have a net worth of around $750 million earlier this year. However, Mike Ozanian reports that a recent increase in his stake in the Hornets has pushed Jordan’s net worth into 10 figures.

In recent months, Jordan has supposedly increased his stake in the Bobcats from 80 percent to almost 90 percent. Sports bankers estimate that the Hornets are worth somewhere between $600 million and $625 million, using the recent $500 million sale of Milwaukee Bucks as a benchmark. Here’s how Ozanian came to his conclusion:

Our net worth figure for Jordan uses the $600 million figure. The Hornets have $135 million of debt, which makes Jordan’s equity in the team worth $416 million. After subtracting all the cash Jordan has invested in the team, we estimate his net worth outside of the Hornets to be $600 million, giving him a net worth of a $1 billion

It was only a matter of time, right? If a report from Golf Digest earlier this year is accurate, Tiger Woods recently became the first billionaire athlete.

Moral of the story? Be the best athlete to ever play your sport and cozy up with Nike.