Nike Inc. (NYSE: NKE) was able to do what defensive backs in the National Football League have been unable to do: hold on to Odell Beckham Jr. The New York Giants wide receiver was retained by Nike with a five-year deal worth more than $29 million, according to the website Nice Kicks, which reported the news Tuesday.
Nike reportedly matched a counteroffer from Adidas. The website, noting Beckham’s desire to become a “brand icon,” said there is a clause that can escalate the contract to make it an eight-year deal worth $48 million. That would be the most lucrative shoe deal ever for an NFL player, according to Nice Kicks.
Beckham’s initial Nike endorsement deal was due to lapse on May 1. Beckham’s agents heard pitches and new offers on a long-term partnership from both brands, according to Nice Kicks. Beckham, one of the most colorful and flamboyant players in the NFL, wanted to be featured beyond the football and training category and incorporated into global brand marketing. In the end, Nike exercised its reserved right to match any offer from a competitor, and Beckham chose to remain with the Swoosh brand.
Beckham has a four-year, $1.8 contract with the Giants, who picked up his fifth-year option to boost his salary next year to $8.45 million. The Giants drafted Beckham out of Louisiana State University in 2014.
Beckham first burst onto the national stage in 2014, when he made a one-handed touchdown catch while falling backward in a Sunday night game against the Dallas Cowboys, which many football observers called the greatest catch ever made.
Beckham is also known for his customized cleats on the gridiron. He is aware of his reputation as influencer in footwear culture and fashion.
Adding to Beckham’s persona is his eccentricity. After taking out his frustrations on the Giants’ kicking net in last season, Beckham tried to make amends by “proposing” to the net in a game later that year.