NBA player Rajon Rondo has officially ended his shoe deal with Nike, joining Chinese footwear brand Anta. There was rumor of this move for some time, with the Boston Celtic’s guard confirming it at an event on Tuesday night.
Formed in 1994, the apparel company Anta has increased its association with the NBA over the last few years. In 2007 it formed a partnership with the Houston Rockets, with their owner being an investor in the company.
Rondo is not the first NBA to be endorsed by Anta. Kevin Garnett made the move from Adidas in 2010, and released has just released his own shoe, dubbed ‘KG4’. The company is looking to add more NBA players to their roster, with a graphic on their website suggesting this will happen sooner than later. Labeled ‘Team Priceless’, the graphic suggests that they will have 5 players representing their brand. At this stage only Garnett and Rondo are confirmed, though Bleacher Report are suggesting that Luis Scola may also be part of the team.
The deal is for 8 years, which would put Rondo at 35 when the current deal expires. While financial terms have not been disclosed, it would be right to assume that it would be higher than the fee Nike was paying him.
The NBA continues to grow in Asia, with the league holding a match between the Golden State Warriors and the LA Lakers in China earlier this year. They are also holding pre-season games in the region during October.