National Basketball Association (NBA) player Dwyane Wade has agreed a new personal endorsement deal with Chinese sportswear company Li-Ning.
The new deal, which was brokered by CAA, replaces Wade's previous apparel partnership with Nike, an agreement first penned in 2009, and sees Wade join fellow NBA stars Baron Davis, José Calderón and Evan Turner as a Li-Ning brand ambassador.
The new multi-year agreement, rumoured for a number of weeks but officially announced at a press conference in Beijing on 10th October, sees the Miami Heat star and Li-Ning collaborate in producing a new athletic footwear and apparel range entitled WADE.
According to a Li-Ning press release, the WADE range 'will serve as the centrepiece of the corporation's growing international basketball strategy, and be shaped by an unprecedented level of creative and strategic direction from the two-time NBA champion.'
Though financial terms were not released, according to Wade's agent Henry Thomas, a stipulation of the agreement will see the 30-year-old will receive “significant” equity in Li-Ning.
“I am so proud to welcome Dwyane Wade to the Li-Ning family,” said Li Ning founder Li-Ning. “Dwyane is a superstar for his athletic achievements, and also for the way he carries himself on and off the NBA court. I have come to understand what motivates him, what he cares about, and the personal and professional path he wants to take in the coming years. There are remarkable similarities between Dwyane and myself in this regard, and I could not be more excited about developing a brand with him that speaks to those shared views. At the same time, the WADE brand will deliver the high quality and performance characteristics consumers have come to expect of our company.”
Wade added, “I first visited China in 2008, when I competed in the Beijing Olympics, and was deeply moved by the country's genuine passion for basketball. I have been blessed with an opportunity to make an impact on the game in the United States, and I look forward to now being active with the sport on a more global level. I am honoured to join forces with Li-Ning and grow the game, beginning in China, which is home to more basketball players – 200 million – than any other country in the world.”
The WADE range will soon launch across China and is expected to debut in the US in 2013. Additionally, 'a comprehensive marketing campaign of upcoming TV spots' will be included in the partnership.
Dwyane Wade – Li-Ning