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The two-time Olympic gold medalist and three-time NBA champion has been a Nike athlete since 2003, the same year he was drafted into the NBA as the no.1 pick. In 2015, he signed a lifetime deal with the shoemaker giant that was reportedly worth more than $1 billion.
To honor his membership to the Nike family, the building will be home to Nike’s Beaverton-based Advanced Innovation team, consisting of scientists, engineers and designers working on products and services. Other facilities include a full NBA-size basketball court, a 200-meter endurance track, a 100-meter straightaway and an artificial turf training pitch.
The LeBron James Building is the sixth new building at Nike’s World Headquarters (WHQ) campus expansion, a project that kicked off nearly five years ago in early 2015, which is being added to James’ arena at his alma mater and his own school in Akron.
“It’s so surreal,” said the Los Angeles Lakers star in a tweet. “It’s been an honor to be a part of such a great company for the last 18 years. And to know that a building with my name will reside on campus — it’s truly an honor, and I feel truly special.” The building alongside previously announced Serena Williams Building, is slated to open next year.
With a net worth of $89 million and endorsements valued at $53 million, James ranks as the world’s eighth highest-paid athlete. He has the NBA's top endorsement portfolio, as well as his own production company (SpringHill Entertainment) and media company (Uninterrupted).
On the same day as the Nike announcement, James also voiced his approval for a bill that would allow college athletes in California to profit from endorsement deals. The Olympic medalist tweeted his support for the bill, stating that the SB 206 law is a “game-changer”. The bill also allows the target athletes to hire an agent or attorney to represent them in business deals without losing eligibility. If passed, the law would go into effect in January 2023.