Shaq to shill for Chinese shoes
NBA star signs five-year deal with Li-Ning to promote sportswear.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- National Basketball Association star Shaquille O'Neal has signed a five-year contract with Chinese sportswear brand Li-Ning, the company said Monday.
The deal to promote the new "Shaq Dunkman" line will be marketed exclusively in China, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. Terms of the deal weren't revealed.
"O'Neal is a wonderful NBA player, he has great character, is passionate and is a hero on the court, reminiscent of oriental heroism and of the Li-Ning brand," said Mr. Zhang Zhiyong, CEO of Li-Ning.
O'Neal, who was in Beijing for the announcement, said he first became aware of the Li-Ning-brand shoes when he saw the Spanish National Basketball team wearing them. "I'm excited and happy to finally be able to work with the Li-Ning brand and look forward to a very bright future."
More than one billion Chinese have watched NBA games in the past year, according to the NBA. The association has eight offical marketing partnerships in the country since 2005, included China-specific deals with McDonald's, Nokia and China Mobile, according to the NBA press release.