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Oden Already Bagging Endorsements

  • Ad Age, Thursday, June 28, 2007 11:16 AM
A 7-foot-tall 19-year-old expected to be the first player in the NBA Draft is already cutting endorsement deals. Greg Oden, who has gone pro after just one year at Ohio State, has already made pacts with Nike, Take Two Interactive, Spalding, Topps and Raymond Weill.

The Nike deal is the richest, with insiders saying the shoe company will pay him more than what the last two first-pick giants -- Andrew Bogut and Dwight Howard - got but less than its nearly $100 million pre-draft deal with LeBron James.

Of course, it remains to be seen how well Oden will do in the big leagues and whether he can branch out to endorsements for cars, clothes and packaged-goods. But Oden has already been on Donny Deutsch's TV show and visited BBDO and Omnicom Group offices. Still, "ultimately, it comes down to his play," says Steve Rosner, founder of 16W Marketing. "The way to get that great portfolio is to win."



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