Nike Will Not Match Anta’s Offer for Gordon Hayward

Gordon Hayward is the latest NBA athlete to join Chinese brand Anta’s roster. He will join Klay Thompson, Rajon Rondo, and Manny Pacquiao — and get his very own signature shoe.

According to ESPN’s Nick DePaula, the Boston Celtics’ small forward signed a four-year $9 million shoe and apparel offer sheet in late-September. Nike had 10 business days to exercise its “match clause” in its contract with Hayward and elected not to. Look out for an Anta Hayward signature shoe soon, as well as an apparel collection, that will be marketed in the U.S. and Asia.

While the Anta brand is still relatively unknown in the United States, it is one of the largest athletic companies in China with over 9,000 stores. In 2017, Warriors guard Klay Thompson signed a 10-year $80 million deal with the brand, which will also be an official sponsor of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics (the company had a large hand in the PyeongChang 2018 festivities).

Now that another NBA star has joined Anta, who do you think the brand will pick up next? Sound off in the comments below.

gordon hayward anta deal

The shirt says Nike but the kicks are Anta. Image via @kicksvisionofficial


  1. Who signs with Anta next? Depends on who’s up for sneaker free agency. I laugh when I visit other sites and message boards and see people downing Hayward and others for signing with a brand other than Nike and adidas. These guys are athletes and they have a finite amount of time to earn as much money before their bodies give out and they can no longer make money playing. Short of the shoe companies making unsafe shoes, these guys should max their dollars while they can and worry about acquiring “heat” after their playing careers are over. Plus, if Anta is offering him a sig, what other shoe company is going to do that? Nike sure as hell wasn’t going to be offering him anything except PE versions of their regular basketball lineups.

    1. well, that’s the problem with the shoe culture/community and industry nowadays. it has become less saturated despite the number of athletes due to unanimous brand preference and fandom. no wonder the design and quality of shoes from the big brands has become repetitive, boring and ugly. it is a monopoly right now and I’m just glad that companies like Anta, Puma, Li-Ning, and others are keeping the sneaker game interesting.

      I just miss those days, where people would go for variety and players are not just clumping together on one brand even if the shoes that’s been given to them are butt-ugly.

      I love it when we have Converse, Reebok, Fila, L.A. Gear were still in the basketball shoe business. eversince, the big companies acquired some of those shoe companies, the shoes got shelved or got really bad with the retro releases. just look at the Iverson line, just disgusting.

      1. What I find so weird about all these brands getting back into basketball is that it seems like a market that gets smaller and smaller, not larger. According to NPD Matt Powell, basketball is less than 7% of the athletic footwear market, and trending lower that that for next year.

        1. That’s probably because basketball shoes are no longer the only pair of shoes for kids. I remember back then I have only 1-2 pairs of new shoes every year and I wear them all the time. I wanted climacool and the OG hyperfuse so much but I didn’t buy them only because I thought it would be a waste of money to buy something you cannot wear in the winter.

  2. I just wish Anta would make some larger sizes so I could give them a shot. I agree with Collins and hope to see more companies give basketball a shot again.

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