Anthony Davis has undoubtedly been the hottest name in the world over the past 48 hours.
The 6’10, 26-year-old All-NBA center who, to get a sense of how good he is, has the third highest regular season PER in history of the game, capped of the inescapable buzz surrounding his name this free agency by doing what many felt was the improbable this past weekend: sign with the LeBron and the Los Angeles Lakers.
The implications are huge. Vegas already has the Lakers as favorites to win the 2020 title, they have room for another mid-max player, and with Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson out for the majority of next season, the West is wide open.
The Pelicans have agreed to a deal to trade Anthony Davis to the Lakers for Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram, Josh Hart, and three first-round picks – including the No. 4 overall in 2019 Draft, league sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) June 15, 2019
Yet, as major as this offseason signing was, this wasn’t the biggest deal Anthony and his team closed out.
According to Front Office Sports, Davis will be announced as a “creative partner” with Ruffles on Tuesday, becoming the first NBA player in history to have a potato chip endorsement deal.
On top of that, Davis has already been a part of the design of a chip-inspired shoe called “The Ruffles Ridge Tops,” further proof of just how multifaceted the deal is.
“Ruffles keeps finding new ways to make the game more fun for basketball fans and a ‘Chip Deal’ in itself is unprecedented – which is exactly why I wanted to do it,” Davis said in a statement to Front Office Sports.
“From the design of ‘The Ridge Tops’ to new flavors and contests, I have a lot of ideas and Ruffles shares my excitement for making them happen.”
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Davis announced the news as he visited the flagship NBA Store in New York City earlier today, which a little ironic for a Knick fanbase who hoped he’d be there signing for a different reason.
From June 24 to August 4, fans who purchase a bag of Ruffles and enter the on-pack code will have a chance to win coveted fashion and sports “grails” daily and the grand prize of a pair of the Ruffles and Davis-crafted sneakers.
Sadira Furlow, who is vice president of marketing for Frito-Lay North America, said in an interview with Front Office Sports that “the Ruffles brand is all about ‘owning your ridges’” and that AD — who has refused to cut his infamous brown — personifies that “unapologetic individuality.”
According to Furlow, the Davis/Ruffles deal will extend through the 2020 NBA All-Star Game in Davis’ hometown of Chicago, where the South Side native will play in front of friends and neighbors and, along with a shoe, they’re even in talks of developing his own flavor.
“We’re working on getting him in the kitchen with our chef to make that a reality,” she said. “And of course NBA All-Star is in AD’s hometown of Chicago, so we’re already thinking about how to make that really special for fans.”
This sets a new precedent for endorsement deals. No longer will athletes and their agents be expecting compensation, but to be partners with multiple verticles on the table.
Yes, Anthony Davis is now a Laker, but more than that, he’s a household name with a brand that’s about to boom.