Kyrie Irving’s deal with Nike was terminated last year after his antisemitism controversy in Brooklyn.
On Tuesday (July 11), the company hit Instagram to reveal its latest ambassador, announcing Irving would be serving in a “unique” role. Not only would the Dallas Mavericks star be a new ambassador for the corporation, but he would also serve as the brand’s Chief Creative Officer.
“ANTA and Kyrie Irving are embarking on an exciting new business collaboration model,” the sneaker company’s caption read. “As a new member of the ANTA family, Kyrie Irving will not only actively serve as the Chief Creative Officer in the design of a brand-new Kyrie Irving logo and signature product line, but he will also seek to engage basketball players of all ages, basketball communities, influential figures in pop culture, artists, musicians, pioneers in environmentalism, and designers.”
Irving also hit IG to celebrate his new title and gave a message of unity with his new “family.” The NBA superstar also offered a call to arms for those who “want to change the world,” to join him on the journey.
“I AM Proud to announce that I am Partnering with Anta as Chief Creative Officer,” he typed. “It’s an honor to welcome them into my A11Even TRIBE as they have welcomed me into the Anta FAMILY. As Chief Creative Officer, I will push our teams domestically and internationally to unite like minded Trailblazers who have the vision to create and build their craft to transcend the footwear/Apparel industry for generations to come.”
“This is truly a full circle moment that I will not take for granted nor under appreciate given the many obstacles it took to get here. This Partnership is for all of those who want to change the world. Join me on the journey. This is #Biggerthanashoedeal????”
The new deal arrived seven months after Nike dropped him from their brand. On Dec. 5, 2022, Nike announced that they parted ways with the former first-round pick a month after he shared an anti-semitic film on social media.
Nike was gearing up to release Irving’s Kyrie 8 in November 2022 before the partnership was suspended. Since signing with the brand in 2014, “Uncle Drew” held the second highest-grossing shoe in Nike’s current arsenal of kicks, behind LeBron James. His deal was initially set to end in October 2023.
“At Nike, we believe there is no place for hate speech and we condemn any form of antisemitism,” Nike said in a statement. “We are deeply saddened and disappointed by the situation and its impact on everyone.”