Kevin Durant Signs First Major Roc Nation Deal

The MVP is creating a sizable empire for himself

Photo: ESPN

Photo: ESPN

Oklahoma City Thunder All-Star forward Kevin Durant has signed another major endorsement deal since switching agents to Jay Z’s Roc Nation Sports.

The Durantula inked with Sparkling Ice, a zero calorie carbonate water drink that is one of the fastest growing beverage brands in the U.S. Although specific terms weren’t disclosed in the deal signed on Monday, July 14, it marks the arrival of Kevin Durant as a bonafide star who is developing his own business acumen.

“I’ve always challenged myself on the basketball court, but this offseason is really the first year I’m challenging myself off of it — on the business side,” Durant told ESPN.com. “This is a brand I drink every day that I love and I wanted to be a part of it. I want to help them get to the next level.”

For the past couple of years, Sparkling Ice has been mildly successful in the beverage industry, going from $25 million in 2010 to an expected revenue of $500 million in 2014. Kevin Klock, CEO of the brand’s parent company Talking Rain, has gone on the record noting that the success made them “a target,” saying, “Now is the time to join forces with a major sports star.”

“Things fell into place when Kevin came to us,” Klock said. The meeting occurred when Michael Yormark, president and chief strategy officer of Roc Nation Sports, said that Sparkling Ice came up in an initial meeting with Durant and his agent Rich Kleiman. “He told us that this brand was already a part of him and he wanted to have an official relationship,” Yormark said.

The plan is now to have Durant as spokesman while the company begins its international expansion outside of the U.S. into Canada and Mexico.

Previously, Durant had been an endorser of Gatorade until last September. His other most notable deals include being the spokesman for Kind bars and appearing on the cover of the popular “NBA 2K” video game series.

SOURCE: CBS Sports

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