NEW YORK (CNNfn) - Athletic apparel manufacturer Fila Holding SpA Monday signed Detroit Pistons forward Grant Hill to a seven-year, $80 million endorsement deal. The pact is one of the richest endorsement deals ever struck.
While the deal Hill -- already a Fila spokesman -- signed was lucrative, it falls short of Chicago Bulls star Michael Jordan's $20-million-a-year Nike contract.
According to The Wall Street Journal, Hill's arrangement will also give him a large role in the company's operations.
Fila hopes Hill will be able to revive a brand many say he is responsible for creating. Fila in 1993 began establishing itself as a leading franchise in the athletic footwear industry and signed Hill to an endorsement deal in 1994, the year after he graduated from Duke University.
Fila's U.S. athletic footwear sales surged from $391 million in 1993 to $856 million in 1996 thanks to sales of Hill's basketball shoes. The fourth model of Hill's sneakers are due out in November. Hill's sneakers alone generate more than $100 million in annual revenue.
Hill will reportedly receive a base salary in addition to minimum royalty guarantees on his signature products. In addition, he will receive royalties from sales of other Fila products as well as performance bonuses and stock options.
He will also head a committee that will advise Fila on marketing efforts and help the company attract other athletes as endorsers.