For most NBA rookies, the summer has been a time to acclimate with their new franchise. Several of the league's rookies have also picked up lucrative endorsement deals in the days leading up to and following the NBA Draft.
The most major recent agreement to drop was the top overall pick, Zion Williamson, signing with Jordan Brand. There had been much speculation centered around what shoe company new New Orleans Pelicans star would select and he took longer than most top picks do to decide.
Just last week, Jordan announced the partnership with a digital billboard in New York City. Williamson also recently agreed to a contract with 2K, to serve as an ambassador for the game.
2K Sports Unveils Zion Williamson:
Second overall pick Ja Morant made his sneaker home apparent long before Williamson did, signing with Nike prior to the Draft. He also got some other business out of the way before walking to the stage in New York by becoming a brand ambassador for speaker company, JBL.
The new hope of the New York Knicks and third overall pick, R.J. Barrett, went a different route with his first endorsement deal. He focused on the apparel side of the business, agreeing to a pact with Vancouver-based company Indochino.
R.J. Barrett Suits Up with Indochino for the Draft:
Some of the other top NBA Draft picks to sign with Nike include (Darius Garland, #5, Cleveland Cavaliers and (Cam Reddish, #10, Atlanta Hawks). Jarrett Culver, who went sixth overall to the Minnesota Timberwolves, signed with Adidas.
The most interesting endorsement star of this Draft cycle, however, is Rui Hachimura. He became the first Japanese-born player selected in the first round and naturally garnered a great deal of focus for what he can do for brands in his home country.
His first deal came before the draft with Nissin cup noodles, a brand that has Japanese athletes like tennis star like Kei Nishikori signed to their endorsement roster. He subsequently inked his shoe deal with Jordan Brand.
Rui Hachimura's First Commercial for Nissin:
To inquire about the speaking fees and appearance cost of the 2019 NBA rookie class, including Zion Williamson, Ja Morant and R.J. Barrett, contact the agents at Athlete Speakers by calling us at 800-916-6008 or by Starting Your Booking Request Now.