He’s China’s problem now. Well, PR problem at least.
Kyrie Irving has just signed a shoe deal with a new company in China called ANTA and the deal is extremely unique. As first reported by Shams, Irving signed a 5-year deal with ANTA last night. While the exact terms of the contract haven’t been publicized yet, the main contingency of the deal is that Irving will now act as the Chief Creative Officer at the company.
As the CCO of ANTA, Kyrie will be able to sign and recruit other big name athletes to the brand. The intention of the deal is to spread ANTA’s prevalence throughout the US by garnering other American talent to join the brand as well as begin larger distribution throughout the country.
Though exact numbers are unknown, the shoe deal is extremely lucrative. If Kyrie can make ANTA a well known brand here in the US and tack on some other star athletes, there are a ton of potential earnings in his future.
This is Kyrie’s second shoe deal of his career. Back when he was drafted in 2011, Irving signed a contract with Nike. However, that partnership was cut short in December 2022 after Irving posted anti semitic content on social media.
Obviously this deal surprises no one. Not like everyone expected Kyrie to sign a Chinese deal, but we definitely expected something whacky out of him. I mean it’s been like five months since his name was last in the news, so you knew something weird was going to happen soon.
I honestly think this is a great deal for Kyrie. In terms of attention seeking (Kyrie’s favorite pastime), he definitely accomplished his goal. Everyone is going to be talking about him signing with a company no one has heard of before, plus he gets to use his new title as an excuse to blabber about the brand for the rest of eternity.
Do I believe that Kyrie signed with an unknown brand for attention and power? Yes, of course. I think that’s pretty blatant. However, I think there was another factor in his decision making — public relations. PR has never been Kyrie’s strong suit. From being a flat Earther to refusing to play basketball to fully hating Jews, Kyrie is always getting negative publicity. Yet, unlike American brands, Chinese companies couldn’t care less about what you say or do as long it makes them money. Now that is something Kyrie can get behind. We are about to witness Kyrie go off the rails. He can say whatever he wants with little to no financial consequence. It’s not like he has watched his words before, but now he really can just say anything that crosses his mind. It’s gonna be wild.
Good luck managing your $126 million dollar man, Mark Cuban. Unlike a business, he is completely uncontrollable.