A story circulated on Tuesday saying that adidas was prepared to offer Kansas freshman basketball player Andrew Wiggins a $180 million shoe endorsement deal. The story made headlines for obvious reasons — that’s a huge amount of money, especially for an athlete who hasn’t even played a minute of college ball yet. But if the report didn’t sound right to you, and it didn’t to us, that’s probably because the quoted figures for the prospective contract may have originated from a fake letter.
The Tuesday report about the prospective adidas offer came from Bleacher Report, which cited sources in saying that the sports apparel company was preparing a $180 million offer for Wiggins. Here’s what they wrote:
“From what I’m hearing, (Adidas) is really high on him,” an industry source said. “I’ve heard a range for sure, from like $140 to $180 million for like 10 years. That’s a big deal for a kid coming out of school because most rookie deals are probably like four years.”
“I’m hearing from people at Kansas that he’s got a $180 million offer supposedly coming from Adidas,” a source close to Wiggins’ inner circle said. “But I also heard that Nike is going to match anything.”
So both of those sources quoted the $180 million number. Derrick Rose, who has won NBA MVP, signed an extension with adidas last year. That deal supposedly was 13 years for $185 million and incentives that could make it $200 million. If that’s how much Rose’s deal was worth, why would adidas give money in a similar range to a guy who hasn’t even proven himself in college yet? They probably wouldn’t.
So where did that figure come from? Sole Collector obtained this letter, which they say is fake, that supposedly comes from adidas’ CEO expressing the company’s interest in Wiggins. This fake letter likely is the root of the $180 million report:
I do believe Wiggins will get a sizable deal and have many brands competing to sign him. I just don’t think his deal will be for around $180 million as was reported.Google+