Prior to this year only two 15-year-olds had been drafted into the Ontario Hockey League and only one Canadian Junior Hockey player, Sidney Crosby, had ever signed an endorsement deal. On Wednesday, Connor McDavid continued his magical year by becoming the second player ever to sign an endorsement deal while playing junior hockey; and like Crosby, McDavid signed with Reebok/CCM. At 15 years old McDavid was drafted No.1 overall into the Ontario Hockey League to play for the Erie Otters, and through his first 32 games he has scored 17 goals and has 37 points. Not bad for a kid playing against guys two to five years older than him.
Official terms have not been announced for the agreement, but McDavid will be the youngest player signed by the brand to be a spokesman. When Crosby signed with Reebok/CCM, the terms of the deal were not disclosed, other than it was a five-year deal. It is believed that McDavid will get a similar term agreement and could make around $2.5 million. He will make $75,000 per year while playing for the Erie Otters in the OHL, and then about $750,000 per year in the NFL, when he gets there.
If you’re still not convinced that McDavid is the next big thing, even Crosby himself is quoted as saying that McDavid is the next Crosby in an interview with Yahoo! Sports.
“He looks like he’s got it all,” Crosby said. “When I watched him play, he reminded me of myself.”
When asked about the signing, Glen Thornborough, the Reebok/CCM vice president of global marketing said:
“We want to align with the best in the world, and we believe Connor McDavid is in that class. I won’t get into the terms of it, but it would obviously extend into when and if he is in the National Hockey League. It is not an everyday occurrence in the industry that a player like Connor comes along. We are not in the habit of signing kids that age, but there are special occurrences and this is one.”
Signing this kid is a no-brainer. If he turns out to be a superstar, they will already have the inside track to sign him because they gave him his first chance. And if he turns out to not be as good as they previously thought, $2 million is chump change to a major company like Reebok. Based on his highlight reel, I’ve got to say that this was a solid business decision on Reebok’s part.