China's top athletic footwear brand is banking on Evan Turner being a star with the 76ers.
Li-Ning announced yesterday that it had signed the No. 2 overall pick to a multiyear contract. Turner will begin appearing immediately in the company's global marketing and will wear Li-Ning as a rookie. He will have his own branded sneaker and apparel in the second year of the deal.
CNBC first reported the contract.
"This is truly a game-changing moment for the Li-Ning brand," Brian Cupps, Li-Ning's brand initiative director for basketball, said in a statement. "Adding a supreme young talent like Evan Turner sends a message to the global basketball community that Li-Ning basketball is committed to being a player on the global stage."
It's both an honor and an opportunity," Turner said. "When I met with my agent, I told them I wanted to have my own brand, be able to build something and have it grow as I grow. We met with a few companies, and they weren't into trying to have it done . . . [Cupps] had my back 100 percent. I felt really comfortable. I'm really glad to have an opportunity to be a part of Li-Ning and appeal to people in different countries."
Li-Ning's U.S. campaign had been built around the Los Angeles Clippers' Baron Davis, The company also signed a 3-year deal with Hasheem Thabeet after he was drafted second by the Memphis Grizzlies last year.
Shaquille O'Neal previously had a contract with Li-Ning as well.