NBA legend Spencer Haywood has a championship ring, an Olympic gold medal, and was recently inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Early in his career, the former NBA All-Star also landed an endorsement deal with then-struggling sportswear brand Nike. That opportunity, however, was unfortunately one that Haywood didn’t conquer with the same level of success.
In the early ’70s, Haywood was approached by Nike to promote its products in exchange for 10% ownership of the company. Instead, the fast-rising star for the Seattle Supersonics chose to take a one-time cash guarantee of $100,000. As Haywood explains in a recent profile by Click on Detroit, he was convinced to take the quick payout by his agent at the time, who wanted to go for the lump sum to ensure he got his commission. Needless to say, the choice ended up being a very costly mistake. Had Haywood opted to accept Nike’s original offer and held on to the ownership stake, today his holdings in the company would be worth a whopping $8.62 billion. That one’s gotta sting.
Hit the jump to check out Haywood in a vintage Nike ad from 1973. According to the five-time NBA All-Star, he did the ad for free.
[Sole Collector / Click On Detroit]
Photo Credit: Click on Detroit
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