Nike Has Given LeBron James His Own Building, As You Do

09 September 2019
Nike, LeBron James, Sneakers, Athlete
Illustrations: Nike

The LeBron James building will serve as the home of the Swoosh's Sport Research Lab

Nike athletes, as a whole, tend to drink the swoosh-shaped kool-aid pretty thirstily. Being a Nike athlete is, and we say this from the perspective of people that have interviewed Nike athletes, an entirely different experience to signing with any other company. It's less of a sponsorship deal than it is an indoctrination to some weird, sports-cult-esque fraternity of uber-powerful branding and, in-turn, almost limitless possibility.

That being said, some Nike athletes have become more iconic than the rest. Take LeBron, who alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and maybe Kobe Bryant, has quite safely become the athlete most synonymous with the Beaverton brand since the days of Michael Jordan. LeBron, to Nike, embodies everything it means to be a Nike athlete, and they've now recognised this by honoring him as part of their World Headquarters Expansion in Portland.

But they haven't merely given him a statue. They've given him a whole building.

According to Nike's media centre, "the LeBron James Building will be home to Nike’s Beaverton-based Advanced Innovation team," which helps design the most cutting edge prototype technology that eventually makes its way into the equipment used by some of the world's leading athletes. 

"It will house a state-of-the-art Sport Research Lab – an investment in Nike’s most powerful competitive advantage, and continued proof of Nike’s leadership in sport science," Nike continued. Inside will reside a full NBA-size basketball court, a 200-metre endurance track, a 100-metre straightaway and an artificial turf training pitch.

LeBron James also announced the partnership via his own Instagram. "When I got the call this was happening I couldn’t believe it! I was literally shedding tears," he wrote. You guys know where I come from but if you don’t I come from the inner city projects, single mother, only child, and statistics would suggest I would never EVER make it out let alone be alive still to tell you about it. Now I’ll have my own building at the Nike Head World Quarter where my family and I legacy will live on forever."

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Man this is so surreal! When I got the call this was happening I couldn’t believe it! I was literally shedding tears. You guys know where I come from but if you don’t I come from the inner city projects, single mother, only child, and statistics would suggest I would never EVER make it out let alone be alive still to tell you about it. Now I’ll have my own building at the Nike Head World Quarter where my family and I legacy will live on forever. The home of the Advance Innovation team and new state of the art Nike Sports Research Lab! Everything will get made and lab tested in my building! Like WHAT?!?!? THIS IS BEYOND CRAZY‼️ I wanna thank Nike once again for taking a chance on a 18 year old kid from Akron, OH. I’m proud to be #SwooshLifeForLife #JamesGang#striveforgreatness

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"I wanna thank Nike once again for taking a chance on a 18 year old kid from Akron, OH. I’m proud to be #SwooshLifeForLife"

LeBron has been a Nike athlete since he left high School for the NBA in 2003, and reportedly has a lifetime contract with the Swoosh which, according to Forbes, will pay him over $1 billion by the time he's 64.

In more news surrounding Nike, check out the Esports kit collection they just launched for the League of Legends Pro League.


Via GQ Australia