Adidas: Fake letter behind Andrew Wiggins’ reported $180 million offer
Wiggins, 18, has yet to begin his first NCAA season, but the highly recruited Canadian small forward is expected to declare himself eligible for the 2014 NBA Draft. Competing apparel companies are likely to pursue Wiggins for a shoe endorsement deal when he turns pro, but adidas says its has not made any offer.
From Pro Basketball Talk:
That report had multiple sources saying roughly the same thing, but a spokesperson from Adidas reached out to PBT to say that there is “fraudulent letter going around claiming to be from adidas offering Wiggins a contract.” They think the $180 (million) figure came from that letter and said there is no such offer.
SoleCollector.com also reports the offer likely came from a fraudulent memo from adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer:
It all apparently stems from this alleged memo from adidas Group CEO Herbert Hainer, addressed blankly to a Wiggins representative, which Sole Collector has exclusively obtained below and has also confirmed to be entirely fake.
“There is a fraudulent letter that claims to be from our company offering Mr. Wiggins a contract. Any reasonable review of the letter would determine its lack of credibility,”an adidas Basketball spokesperson told Sole Collector this morning. ”Beyond this, we do not comment on rumors or speculation about potential partnerships.”
The undated hoax letter, from a brand CEO to an amateur athlete, would undoubtedly be a major violation during the window in which Wiggins was deciding on which college he would attend. That should of course be red flag #1 as to the letter’s lack of authenticity.
The adidas spokesperson was alluding to a Bleacher Report story that quoted three industry sources:
Three sources told Bleacher Report that Adidas has pegged Wiggins as their prime target—and they would be willing to open up the bank for him. Of course, no meetings or official offers can be made until Wiggins declares for the 2014 draft after his season at Kansas.
“(Adidas) is easily the front-runner, 100 percent,” said Rich Lopez, the publisher of the popular sneaker website KixandtheCity.com.
“From what I’m hearing, (Adidas) is really high on him,” an industry source said. “I’ve heard a range for sure, from like $140 to $180 million for like 10 years. That’s a big deal for a kid coming out of school because most rookie deals are probably like four years.”
“I’m hearing from people at Kansas that he’s got a $180 million offer supposedly coming from Adidas,” a source close to Wiggins’ inner circle said. “But I also heard that Nike is going to match anything.”