Presumptive No. 1 pick Cade Cunningham has signed a multi-year endorsement deal with Nike, according to ESPN’s Nick DePaula. The deal is reportedly the largest of any player in Cunningham’s draft class.
Cunningham wore Nike as part of its endorsement deal with Oklahoma State, where Cade earned Player of the Year honors and was named a consensus All-American.
“More than anything, they show that athletes are more than just athletes,” Cunningham told ESPN. “They really put the right message out for people to see. That was important to me. … I felt like it was a perfect match for me.”
“We all can tell a Nike commercial as soon as they come on,” he said. “Those things matter to me, and I want to be associated with a brand like that.”
DePaula also reports Cunningham also has secured deals to endorse plant-based food, an energy drink, cryptocurrency, a photo-sharing app, trading cards and memorabilia.
“I definitely have been putting thought into it. I’m not playing basketball just for fun anymore,” he said. “It’s a business now, and that’s the blessing of it. I’m happy that I’ve gotten to get to this point to where I can make money doing what I’m doing. Marketing myself, I want to be fully authentic with who I am. I don’t want to take any marketing deals that don’t match who I am.”
Cunningham dominated in his one season with Oklahoma State, averaging 20.1 points, 6.2 rebounds and 3.5 assists as a freshman. That performance helped Oklahoma State go 20-8 during the regular season, earning the team a No. 4 seed in the NCAA tournament.