Kristaps Porzingis sponsors Adidas, BodyArmor laying low amid rape investigation
Kristaps Porzingis’ corporate sponsors are staying mum this week amid reports that New York police are probing an allegation that the embattled Dallas Mavericks star sexually assaulted a woman in early 2018.
Porzingis is accused of raping a woman on Feb. 7, 2018, just hours after suffering a serious knee injury while a member of the New York Knicks. A police source told the New York Post that the woman’s claims are considered credible, even though she admitted that she talked to Porzingis about a $68,000 payment to keep the incident quiet.
Arguably one of the NBA’s most marketable athletes before the allegation surfaced, Porzingis has sponsorship deals with Adidas, sports drink BodyArmor and JBL headphones. The 23-year-old forward’s deal with Adidas is worth between $3 million and $6 million annually, ranking as the richest sneaker and apparel deal for a European-born player in NBA history as of 2016, according to ESPN.
“While we take allegations of this nature extremely seriously and are looking into this matter, we will reserve any comments until the authorities have completed their investigations and we have further information,” Adidas said in a statement to FOX Business.
Adidas did not provide further comment on whether the investigation into Porzingis’ alleged misconduct is impacting its relationship with the NBA star.
BodyArmor representatives declined to comment on the situation. Aside from his role as an endorser, Porzingis has been a fixture in the sports drink company’s marketing campaigns, starring in a commercial for the brand in 2018.
Representatives for JBL, which is owned by Harman International Industries, did not return a request for comment. Harman is a subsidiary of Samsung Electronics.
Porzingis was traded to the Mavericks earlier this year. The NBA and Mavericks officials have confirmed that they are aware of the situation.
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Porzingis denied any wrongdoing in a statement released by his attorneys this week.
"We are aware of the complaint that was made against Mr. Porzingis on Friday and unequivocally deny the allegations," attorney Roland Riopelle said in a statement. "We made a formal referral to federal law enforcement on Dec. 20, 2018, based on the accuser's extortionate demands. We also alerted the National Basketball Association months ago, and they are aware of the ongoing investigation of the accuser by federal law enforcement. We cannot comment further on an ongoing federal investigation. Please refer any questions to the Federal Bureau of Investigation or the National Basketball Association."