Entertainment

Nike Signs This 8-Year-Old Soccer Prodigy At Younger Age Than Messi And Neymar

Nike has long been known to scout some of the world’s greatest sports talents, especially when it comes to the world of soccer. It began with Neymar, who signed with the multinational corporation at the age of 13. That trend continued with Real Madrid’s Rodrygo, who, at the tender age of 11, became Nike’s youngest-ever affiliated athlete after dazzling at a youth tournament in New York.

But the bar has been raised once again. This time with an 8-year-old player who considered the next great prospect in Brazilian soccer.

Brazilian football prodigy Kauan Basile has signed with Nike at just 8-years-old.

Kauan Basile is just 8-years-old and he’s already playing for the Santos’ U-9 indoor football team. But now he’s just made history as the youngest player ever to sign a deal with Nike.

“I am very happy with the opportunity to play for Santos, as well as the contract. I like to play football,” Kauan Basile told Gazeta Esportiva

According to reports, the contract with Nike is guaranteed over three years, and there’s an option to extend it for two more. He’s now the youngest player in the world to sign with Nike. Even at the end of his contract, Basile will still be younger than both Messi and another ex-Santos kid, Neymar, in signing his first deal at Nike.

Messi put pen to paper on his first Nike contract aged 15, while Neymar was 13.

The kid is generating tons of buzz worldwide.

Basile’s agents, Mengoni Sports, revealed the news of the Nike deal with a proud post on social media. They wrote: “Today Kauan broke the record of being the youngest player in the WORLD by signing a contract with Nike!”

The post went on to add that “He is pure talent! He has football in the soul, in his heart and in his DNA.”

The sports world has reacted with excitement, especially across Brazil where football plays reach God-like status.

Football runs through Basile’s blood.

Like so many of football’s greats, Basile has the tradition of football in his blood. Both his father and great-grandfather both played professionally. His father Andrezinho was on the roster for Corinthians during his playing days.

And his dad couldn’t be more proud of his son going on to such major success, saying he’s ready for superstardom. He said: “He is a player with an absurd will to win. He has a lot of technical quality.”

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Vanessa Bryant Ends Relationship With Nike After They Reportedly Low-Balled Her and Slacked On Kobe Products

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Vanessa Bryant Ends Relationship With Nike After They Reportedly Low-Balled Her and Slacked On Kobe Products

Photo via Getty Images

On Tuesday, Kobe Bryant’s widow, Vanessa Bryant announced that she chose not to renew the Bryant estate’s contract with Nike. Nike will no longer release Kobe products. Vanessa Bryant took to Twitter to announce the news.

In a statement, Vanessa Bryant said that she had been “hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy.” But apparently, the brand didn’t want to play ball.

“Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes in all sports across the globe,” Vanessa said. “It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe.”

She continued: “My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products. I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything. I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy. We will always do everything we can to honor Kobe and Gigi’s legacies. That will never change.”

To some fans, Vanessa’s statement left them feeling like the Bryant estate and Nike ended on less-than-friendly terms.

https://twitter.com/NBAKicks/status/1381986843206373383?s=20

The specific language Vanessa used in the statement betrayed the fact that Nike didn’t offer the Bryant estate the contract that they had been hoping for. The fact that she said she had been “hoping to form a lifelong partnership” and she will “fight” for Kobe’s fans means that Nike fell short of her expectations.

Per ESPN, Nike presented Vanessa with a contract that “was not in line” with similar contracts they had offered comparable players, like Michael Jordan and LeBron James. So basically, Nike was trying to lowball Vanessa and the Bryant estate.

Insiders say that another reason that Vanessa declined to renew the partnership was because Nike was slacking on the Kobe line.

For a while now, customers have been struggling to find Kobe footwear products on the open market. Instead, they’ve been forced to buy the products at super-marked-up resell markets.

Also per ESPN: “Bryant and the estate had grown frustrated with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe products during his retirement and after his January 2020 death in a helicopter crash. There was also frustration with the lack of availability of Kobe footwear in kids’ sizes, according to sources.”

For the most part, Kobe fans rallied around Vanessa Bryant’s decision not to renew a partnership with Nike.

According to rumblings on Twitter, it appears that Nike was profiting off of Kobe Bryant’s death because of the large uptick in in sales after his death.

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Nike Partners With Crisis Text Line To Expand The Conversation Of Mental Health And Athletics

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Nike Partners With Crisis Text Line To Expand The Conversation Of Mental Health And Athletics

Courtesy of Nike

Mental health and wellness is crucial in everyday life, whether you are an athlete or not. It is even more crucial to have someone to talk to when you are feeling those lows. Nike and their athletes have partnered with Crisis Text Line to help expand access to critical mental health and wellness resources.

Nike and Crisis Text Line want to help athletes access mental health and wellness resources.

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According to Athletes for Hope, an estimated 46.6 million people in the U.S. are living with a mental health condition. That is roughly 1 in every 5 adults who will face a mental health challenge in their lifetime. There are a lot of ways that people manage their symptoms, including physical activity, but that doesn’t mean that athletes are immune to mental health struggles.

Thirty-three percent of young adults including college athletes face mental health crises. However, among college athletes, the study states that about 10 percent seek help. Meanwhile 35 percent of professional athletes face a mental health crisis.

Nike and their athletes want to change the conversation around mental health and wellness.

“Nike’s really committed to helping all athletes whether they’re elite athletes or everyday athletes,” Vanessa Garcia-Brito, the vice president of North America Communications, says. “Not everyone is comfortable talking about that and not everyone knows how to get support. Not everyone has access to it either. Nike’s really hoping to change that.”

That is why Nike teamed up with Crisis Text Line and included their athletes into the conversation. Not only does Nike want people to have access to the necessary resources, the athletics company hopes to combat the stigma around people seeking mental health help.

Laurie Hernandez is one of the athletes working with Nike to destigmatize talking about mental health.

Garcia-Brito is enthusiastic about the partnership and what Hernandez, Hayden Hurst, and Scout Bassett offer in bring involved. The athletes are using their own mental health crises to relate to people seeking help.

Hernandez understands struggling with mental health and wellness as a young athlete. The world watched Hernandez as she competed in gymnastics representing the U.S. at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

“Especially reaching the Olympics at such a young age and hitting 16 and all of those changes that happened after that,” Hernandes recalls. “Mental health was a really big topic.”

The athletes are sharing their own experiences to encourage others to seek help.

“You have to take care of yourself first and foremost,” Paralympic athlete Scout Bassett says. “If you don’t you’re not going to be able to be not just the best version of yourself but you’re not going to be able to help out somebody else if you yourself are not well.”

Garcia-Brito is inspired by the athlete’s willingness to come forward and share their stories. Garcia-Brito says that the athletes being so open about their own struggles is creating a space for Nike employees and others to have honest conversations about their mental health issues.

“We know there is no off-season for mental health and it isn’t just about being ready for those moment son urgent need It’s also about cultivating a healthy mind and body for everyday life,” Garcia-Brito says. “We’re always looking for new ways in which we can serve our athletes physically and mentally.

Nike is here to help people access the mental health they need.

“So we are thrilled to partner with Nike to advance the conversation about mental health and expand the support that is available,” Chief Transformation Officer Dr. Shairi Turner says.

If you need some help finding resources, you can text “STRONG” to 741-741.

READ: Olympian Laurie Hernandez Is Back And Just Gave A Powerful “Hamilton” Inspired Performance

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