Joel Embiid has been the biggest name on the NBA sneaker market, literally and figuratively. The Philadelphia 76ers star big man has been the player just about every sneaker company wanted to sign with Kawhi Leonard arguably being a close second. But with Embiid, you’re not just getting a charismatic superstar in the making, you’re also getting the man who has an enormous amount of pride for his current city and the city that raised him.
Nick DePaula of ESPN and Nice Kicks first announced the agreement between the two sides.
Philadelphia 76ers franchise center Joel Embiid has signed a five-year deal with Under Armour that is expected to make him the highest-paid player at his position.
But the sneaker deal for Embiid goes far beyond just some basketball sneakers. Embiid wanted to do something to change his life and lives of those who helped him out getting to where he’s at.
Embiid penned a letter on the Under Armour site to discuss the decision to join Under Armour and what it means to him.
“When I sat down with Under Armour, one of the first things we talked about was how this can be bigger than just shoes, bigger than just basketball. I want to help change people’s lives like Luc changed my life.
Basketball has given me everything, but it has to be bigger than basketball. That was the first thing that I said to Under Armour, and they were behind it 100 percent. This isn’t about a shoe deal. I mean, listen … I’m gonna make sure they design some shoes as pretty as I am. Don’t worry about that. We’re gonna take care of that.
But this is bigger than that. I want to use this partnership to do something real. I want to do something that would make my brother proud.
And I want to start in Philly.”
Embiid also told DePaula that Stephen Curry and Tom Brady had an impact on his decision.
Within the next week, Under Armour’s current face of the company, Stephen Curry, sent Embiid a welcoming text message, encouraging him to join the brand and help grow the company together. In many ways, the brand feels the 76ers star serves as a great complement to the Warriors’ three-time champion, as the two represent opposite coasts and basketball positions, and have different footwear preferences.
Soon after, New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, whom Embiid simply refers to as “The GOAT,” sent a text message to offer up his excitement for Embiid to also potentially be signing on with the brand. He has long stated that the five-time Super Bowl champion is his all-time favorite football player.