At 45 years old, Allen Iverson is still reaping the rewards of his contract with Reebok
Allen Iverson was absolutely money on the court. And a decade after his retirement from the NBA, he’s still cashing checks off of it.
Iverson was the No. 1 overall pick out of Georgetown University, where he was 2-time Big East Defensive Player of the Year and a First-Team All-Conference performer, before he lit up NBA arenas across the country.
His career average of 26.6 points ranks 7th in NBA history, and the 4-time scoring champion is the only player 6’0″ or shorter in the top 10 of scoring averages in league history.
And on Sunday, “The Answer” turned 45.
Allen Iverson is pound-for-pound one of the best to ever lace 'em up.
The Answer turns 45 today 🥳 pic.twitter.com/cfgFmU2lFA
— ESPN (@espn) June 7, 2020
His career is full of iconic moments, such as when he crossed over Michael Jordan in his rookie season.
Or when he scored 48 points against the Shaquille O’Neal, Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 1 of the 2001 NBA Finals.
But arguably his greatest and most unique accomplishment came when Iverson signed a lucrative endorsement deal with Reebok, making it one of the most visible brands in the NBA in the process.
Katie McInerney of The Philadelphia Inquirer detailed how Iverson was immediately made the face of the Reebok brand upon entering the league.
“Iverson quickly received a 10-year, $50 million contract from Reebok when the Sixers made him the first overall pick in the 1996 draft. The company then released the Reebok Question, which the guard wore en route to winning Rookie of the Year honors for the 1996-97 season.”
Today’s game doesn’t exist without Allen Iverson.
The Answer turns 45 as one of the most influential ever.
◾️Smallest MVP ever
◾️4x scoring champ
◾️3x steals champ
◾️No. 2 playoff PPG
◾️hall of fame pic.twitter.com/msJ9jezpQS
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) June 7, 2020
After winning Rookie of the Year and making his first All-Star Game appearance in 2000, Iverson signed a lifetime apparel deal with Reebok in 2001, when he was named the league MVP and led the 76ers to the NBA Finals for the first time since 1983.
And with that deal, Iverson is ensured to cash in 10 years from Sunday.
Allen Iverson turns 45 today. Ten years from today, on his 55th birthday, he receives a $32 million trust fund as part of the lifetime Reebok deal he signed in 2001. pic.twitter.com/ptbZTOYEsN
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) June 7, 2020
The lifetime deal follows in the footsteps of Michael Jordan’s lifetime deal with Nike, and helped blaze the trail for LeBron James‘ lifetime deal with Nike, which he signed in 2015.
— Complex Sneakers (@ComplexSneakers) December 21, 2015
In the meantime, the deal has an annual payout to Iverson of $800,000 – not too bad for a guy who hasn’t played an NBA game in a decade.
In an interview on the Bloomberg Business of Sports podcast in 2018, Reebok CEO Matt O’Toole noted how Iverson was still worth the money to the company annually.
“He’s an iconic personality. Let’s get on a plane to Shanghai together. You bring Allen Iverson into a market like that. I’ll stand firmly that he has a big place in basketball and sports history.”
But for O’Toole, it goes deeper than Iverson as just a brand, saying that Iverson has had a lasting impact on the brand, even in retirement.
“He has a place in our heritage, and there is a group of consumers who want to connect to that … he’s relevant for a lot of our consumers.”
Throwback to the Rocky-themed Allen Iverson commercial for Reebok back in 2003 pic.twitter.com/nxeajdHp5p
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) February 24, 2019
And as much as Reebok sees Iverson as part of its family, he embraces the role as ambassador as well.
Just last year he helped promote an updated release of his Reebok Question Mid shoes, which debuted his rookie season with Reebok.
If there was ever a question of whether or not Iverson was worth the lifetime deal with the sneaker brand, you now have your answer.
And as you can tell, the fans still idolize him.
😂 This kid asked Allen Iverson to step over him like he did Ty Lue!
— Ballislife.com (@Ballislife) June 6, 2020