Over half a year since officially ending his partnership with Nike, Kyrie Irving has found a new home for the next five years.
Kyrie Irving has signed a five-year deal with Chinese brand ANTA Sports, an athletic sportswear company founded in 1991. It’s NBA presence is small, yet impactful; Klay Thompson, Gordon Hayward, and Alex Caruso are among the more well-known endorsers of the brand.
Kyrie Irving’s last contract with Nike was set to run through the 2022-2023 season, but the decision to end the partnership completely was expedited after the then-Brooklyn Nets guard posted some anti-semitic views on his Twitter. Nike chose to suspend the relationship and announced that it would not be renewing a partnership, and his Kyrie 8 signature shoe was pulled from shelves. His alternate signature show, the Kyrie Low 5, as well as his lower-budget Flytrap models, were still available for purchase.
Over the last few weeks, Irving had been spotted wearing ANTA footwear, leading many to believe that a deal with the Chinese brand was imminent. On their Instagram, the newly formed partnership was officially announced. While details of the union were not disclosed, signature shoes are part of the half-decade business plan as a first ANTA Kyrie model is expected in the first quarter of 2024. He is expected to begin the 2023-2024 season wearing the Shock Wave 5. The launch of a Kyrie signature shoe would immediately bolster ANTA’s business in the United States as Kyrie’s Nike footwear was among the best-sellers annually worldwide.
According to Boardroom, Kyrie has also been named the Chief Creative Officer of ANTA Basketball, allowing him creative freedom to work with collaborators and potentially recruit other NBA athletes to the ANTA brand.