Much like the NBA and professional sports are a harsh business, so are endorsement deals athletes sign with shoe companies. Marquee athletes often sign lucrative and long-term shoe deals but it’s not unusual to see an athlete switch brands once the deal expires.
For Boston Celtics’ Terry Rozier, the story has been a little different, however. The third-year guard, who is currently a sneaker free agent, saw his former deal with Adidas be terminated last May when he wore a pair of Nikes during a Celtics shootaround. Following from Sports Illustrated’s Jon Wertheim:
Adidas’s treatment of Rose is especially perplexing given how closely the company has held other players to the letter of their contracts. On Jan. 18, 2016, Celtics guard Terry Rozier signed a deal that, according to documents provided to SI, guaranteed him $300,000 over three seasons.
During the 2017 Eastern Conference finals, Rozier wore Nikes during a pregame shootaround. He changed into Adidas shoes for the game, but his public appearance in a rival brand did not escape notice. In a letter delivered by FedEx last May 26, Adidas’s legal counsel Monique Hawthorne notified Rozier, “Adidas is terminating your Agreement effective immediately.” (According to Rozier’s representatives, they plan to arbitrate Adidas’s decision.)
We’ve seen plenty of relationships between player and shoe company go bad but it doesn’t seem like Rozier’s ‘betrayal’ was worthy of a termination. Though it certainly would’ve been a different story if he wore the Nikes in game, that wasn’t the case but the act nevertheless warranted discontinuance of his contract in the eyes of Adidas.
Though Rozier remains a bench player behind Kyrie Irving in Boston, he could see another shoe offer down the road if his recent impressive play keeps up.