Anta Confirms Kyrie Irving Endorsement Partnership – Sourcing Journal

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Anta confirmed late on Tuesday that it has signed a partnership deal with American basketball superstar Kyrie Irving. According to the footwear brand, the two parties will embark on a new business collaboration, aiming to create a brand-new signature product line for Irving.

As a new member of the Anta family, Irving will actively serve as its chief creative officer of basketball, and will seek to recruit basketball players, independent brands, influential figures in pop culture, artists, musicians, pioneers in environmentalism, trailblazers in humanitarianism and designers to collaborate with him to create additional product lines under Irving signature line. Through these collaborations Anta said Irving will “strive to collectively shape and introduce” new vision, innovation, and creativity in its signature sportswear category.

Anta added that it will leverage its extensive global resources to craft and manufacture Irving’s signature product line and make it available worldwide. The footwear brand said Irving’s inaugural on-court signature shoes and lifestyle footwear will be unveiled in the first quarter of 2024, with the full range of products set to hit the market simultaneously.

What’s more, the duo will launch “Anta x Kyrie Youth Basketball Training Camps” in China as well as in the U.S. to jointly support the development and promotion of basketball and its culture.

Kyrie Irving has signed a new partnership deal with Anta.

Kyrie Irving has inked a new partnership deal with Anta.COURTESY OF ANTA

Irving said in a statement that he is “excited” about this new collaboration with Anta. “Being appointed as Anta Basketball’s chief creative officer is more than just a realization of my dreams; in fact, it may be the perfect opportunity for me, an individual who always dreams big and values independent thinking, to leverage my artistic talents to build, create, and unify the culture both on and off court,” Irving said.

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“It is our genuine love for basketball that brought Kyrie and Anta together, a love that transcends age, gender, race and backgrounds,” added Xu Yang, CEO of Anta in a statement. “We believe this collaboration will create a fusion of Chinese and Western cultures and bring more vitality and creativity for us to continuously push the boundaries and explore the infinite possibilities at the intersection of basketball and culture.”

Update: June 14, 2023

Anta has responded to the speculation that it is signing NBA star Kyrie Irving.

“We do not comment on market rumors,” an Anta Sports spokesperson told FN via email.

What We Originally Reported on June 12, 2023

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Has Kyrie Irving signed with Anta? If recent images of the baller are an indication of a new deal, the NBA star could be aligned with the Chinese athletic brand.

Photos captured of Irving during his summer basketball camp by photographer Jun Lu (@junjdm on Instagram) circulated online over the weekend. In the images, Irving was seen wearing a black monochromatic pair of the Anta Shock Wave Pro 5 court-ready basketball style.

Irving wearing the shoes sparked speculation that the NBA champion has signed with Anta. The news, however, has not been confirmed by the brand or the athlete.

FN has reached out to Anta for comment.

If Anta has signed Irving, the brand would have yet another NBA champion wearing its shoes, having long backed Klay Thompson of the Golden State Warriors.

Recent speculation surrounding Irving’s potential Anta sneaker deal has been fueled by a comment the baller made via Instagram Live late last month, stating a new deal is on the way. “I will be signing my new shoe deal very, very soon. I won’t even call it a shoe deal. I’m about to blow this stuff out the water,” Irving said in May on Instagram Live.

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New of this potential new sneaker deal comes six months after Irving’s relationship with Nike came to an end. In December 2022, Nike stated in an email to FN that Irving was no longer a Nike athlete. The news was first reported on Twitter by Shams Charania, senior lead NBA insider for The Athletic and Stadium. The parting of ways came a month after Nike revealed it had suspended its relationship with Irving and stated it would not launch his Kyrie 8 signature shoe.

The moves stemmed from the public backlash Irving faced after posting a link to the film “Hebrews to Negroes: Wake up Black America” on social media. He repeatedly refused to denounce antisemitism in the days following the post, and only apologized after he was suspended by the Brooklyn Nets for at least five games.

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