Cleveland Cavaliers wing Isaac Okoro reportedly has signed a brand new shoe contract with HOLO Footwear that will not only give him his own signature shoe, but equity in the company as well.
The former lottery pick will also have his own apparel line with HOLO, a special honor for any NBA player.
“I’ve always dreamed about being able to have and create my own shoe, so being able to be in that position right now is truly a blessing,” Okoro told Forbes’ Mat Issa. “Also, having equity in the company makes it 10x better as it provides me with an actual seat at the table, which is unique in today’s day and age.”
Furthermore, Okoro will be given multimillion-dollar base compensation and royalties on each shoe sold that is a part of the signature line under his brand.
“We all know Isaac is one of the hardest workers, and that is something that is just in his DNA,” Adie von Gontard, co-founder and CEO of Young Money APAA, told Issa. “He’s always had the first one in and the last one out mentality. We wanted to make sure that work ethic was recognized, and that’s evident through this opportunity he’s earned for himself and his family. All the hours and work he’s put in on the court, it’s paying off for him off the court.”
Rommel Vega, CEO and co-founder of HOLO, explained to Issa that Okoro receiving stake in the company allows him to fully capitalize on the deal.
“You have to have a seat at the table,” Vega said. “And a seat at the table doesn’t mean a lifetime contract with XYZ. It means having equity within the company so that if it sells, or the player wants to sell their portion of it, they get it based on what the company is valued at, which usually is much more than the value of the contracts they are signing.
“The real capital in these companies comes from having equity in them. It doesn’t matter how many shoes you sell or how big your contract is. The real money comes when you have a piece of the pie.”
It seems to be a great move for Okoro, who will have a chance to create more than just wealth during his playing career.
“I feel like this shows that it’s not only important to have a base salary, but it’s also important to fight for getting equity and ownership in a company because it can create generational wealth,” Okoro added.
Okoro is a gritty defender that has become a key piece of the Cavs’ rotation since the team drafted him with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
This season, Okoro is shooting a career-high 39.1 percent from beyond the arc. If he can keep that up, it could make him one of the best 3-and-D players in the NBA.
“I’m a really big fan of the sport, and I’ve always been a big fan of Okoro,” Vega explained. “I really liked his grit and upbringing. Upbringing is huge for us here at HOLO. Like Okoro, my wife and I’s parents came to America from a different country. My parents are from Nicaragua. My wife’s parents are from Mexico. And Okoro’s parents are from Nigeria. It all goes back to the connectivity between us and Okoro. This is not just a deal with a basketball player. It is a deal with a human being who has, in many ways, walked the same path of life as us.”
HOLO was co-founded near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the company seems to be an up-and-coming one in the footwear space. Landing an NBA player like Okoro should help boost the company’s profile.
The company was originally an outdoor footwear company, but by moving into basketball shoes, HOLO is opening up a whole new avenue for customers and revenue.
It’s great for Okoro to get in on the company early and have his own signature shoe as a result.
The Cavs wing is averaging 7.6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 2.1 assists per game this season. He is hoping to help the team get back to the playoffs after Cleveland earned the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference last season.