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Dwyane Wade Leaves Nike; Inks $100 Million Deal With Li-Ning

Dwyane Wade, shown with Li Ning

Dwyane Wade is a global baller now.

In fact, it’s all good news for Dwyane Wade these days — first and foremost he is healing ahead of schedule, which is welcomed news for the Miami Heat.

Secondly, Wade has inked a $10 million per year deal (for 10 years) with Li-Ning, a leading Chinese sportswear company founded by Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast  Li Ning.

Wade will create apparel and footwear under the brand, Wade. Wade left Nike’s Jordan Brand to ink the Li-Ning deal; ESPN reports he’ll make at least an annual base of $10 million for 10 years from Li-Ning.

In a statement, Li-Ning officials said that Wade “will serve as the centerpiece of the corporation’s growing international basketball strategy, and be shaped by an unprecedented level of creative and strategic direction from the two-time NBA champion.”

A notable difference between Wade’s deal and traditional sporting goods endorsements is the amount of creative control Wade will have over the product line and he will have equity in Li-Ning’s digital marketing strategy.

The Miami Heat will play two pre-season games in Shanghai and Beijing and Wade will wear Li-Ning creations; the shoes will be auctioned in China. Philadelphia 76ers forward Evan Turner and Toronto Raptors guard Jose Calderon also have deals with Li-Ning; Shaquille O’Neal represented Li-Ning from 2006 to 2010.