By: PJ Guippone
We all know the deals guys are trying to get when they get into the league. Everyone wants the high-profile sneaker and apparel deals. Some people get it by being prodigies (see: LeBron James), some earn it through years of stellar play (Harden is the best example), still some others get it just by being side shows that also happen to be huge sneaker heads (e.g. Swaggy P). These aren’t the only endorsement deals available, though.
Here are the five best non-apparel or sneaker endorsement deals
- Chris Paul, Deandre Jordan, and Dame Lillard for State Farm
There is something about a team mate endorsement that is fun. Throw in one rival player, and there can be commercials like this. There is a lot of negative commentary about this ad campaign, but there is something about the parallel dialogue in the two different scenarios that makes me giggle. At the same time, it’s fun to me that DeAndre Jordan not only literally has an entire career because of Chris Paul, but is now riding his coattails into an endorsement deal. There is another angle of this endorsement deal, though. I find these ads from State Farm are incredibly misleading. If your buddies are idiots in your house and break things, your insurance probably does not cover that. You gotta clean the paint and pick up the glass.
- Steph Curry for Brita Water
I think this is one of the most fitting endorsement deals in the history of the NBA. For starters, the Warriors take pride in their healthy lifestyles as a team, with many reports about their incredibly healthy diets, which even led to an in-house feud over the legality of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Water for a guy that is a member of a franchise this healthy is essential. At the same time though, water is the perfect endorsement for the wettest dude in NBA history. Honestly, Steph is dripping wet, sopping even. There isn’t a spot on the court where he can’t make a splash with a perfect nothing-but-nylon shot. It’s at a point where the net exploding into a rush of water as Steph hits a shot in the commercial is more accurate than just the swish noise.
- Russell Westbrook for Mountain Dew Kickstart
We are finding out more and more that Russell Westbrook is either completely out of his mind, or one of the greatest trolls in the history of sports. In game there are no mysteries, he doesn’t like you. If he was playing his mother in a game and it was one on one in the fast break, he would still turn into his normal “asteroid that killed all the dinosaurs” mode and dunk all over his mother, followed by minutes of shit talking. Off the court, though, Russ is a little bit more mysterious. We know that his fashion game is absolutely fantastic, and we know he doesn’t love talking to the media, but outside of that he is just a big question mark. In one minute he will be posting gushy love posts on Instagram with his wife (all around the time of their marriage), but in the next he will be threatening Zaza’s life. Regardless, his endorsement deals not only highlight this mystery, but pokes fun at it. Most notably is his multiple Mountain Dew commercials, especially the Kick Start one. You gotta love Rusty in all of his glory.
- Kevin Love for Banana Republic
Let’s be honest to ourselves. Kevin Love is a handsome guy. There are plenty of dudes netting non-basketball marketing gigs (including LeBron, Kobe and Durant), but none have gotten one full-time such as K-Love for the clothes with the elephant logo. He has really killed his shoots, too. Maybe this is getting a little gay, it’s just amazing to me that a guy that looks like this on the court sometimes also has the capability to stun in a suit. Alright, enough of my Kevin Love man crush.
- Klay Thompson for Built With Chocolate Milk
I mean who doesn’t love chocolate milk? Honestly. If you don’t fuck with chocolate milk in any capacity then I 100% do not fuck with you. You probably like babies, and rainbows, and happiness, too. And you probably hate Klay Thompson, too. You know, the guy made of molten lava that has a lightning-fast shooting touch that only needs one to go in once for him to put on a catch-and-shoot clinic. Don’t even tell me when you were a kid and you found out chocolate milk was a good recovery beverage that you didn’t get hype as shit (and if you didn’t play sports as a kid, then I’m sorry for you). You better bet I made my mom have the king of the dairy products posted up in the fridge always. This is just such a perfect endorsement deal. I mean Klay Thompson, one of the most plain stars in the NBA, as a spokesperson for the International Dairy Foods Association. This was a slam dunk all around.