Giving charity is apparently the way to retired tennis great Andre Agassi’s heart. He left Nike eight years ago after a 17-year relationship to join the folks at Adidas, partially because the company was willing to put more financial oomph into Agassi’s foundation than Nike was.
But it looks like the tide has turned back in Nike’s favor and is shooting Agassi back into the spotlight. The company announced Monday that the 43-year-old Agassi is back in the fold, Yahoo! Sports reports, and Agassi celebrated the event by posting an image of himself under a huge Nike swoosh with the caption “Back Home” on his Facebook page—a bit of a dig to nearly 8-year sponsor Adidas.
Agassi isn't the only one happy about his homecoming. In a rare statement, Nike co-founder and chairman Phil Knight said: “As one of the world’s greatest tennis players, Agassi embodied the passion, dedication and determination of the Nike brand. As a philanthropist and campaigner, he continues to share Nike’s commitment to inspire the young generation with his Just Do It spirit. We are honored to welcome him back.”
Agassi has been a big investor in children’s education in recent years, starting a campaign back in 2011 to “provide $500 million of funding for 75 charter schools nationwide,” Yahoo! notes. Now that he’s back with Nike, he’ll be involved with the Designed to Move campaign, which is a partnership between Nike, the American College of Sports Medicine and the International Council of Science & Physical Education, and others, to promote exercise.
“Nike has opened new horizons through its Designed to Move campaign, while consistently and historically championing health and fitness,” Agassi said in a news release. “Coming back together through this partnership will have a multiplying effect on this and future generations.”
In his first turn with the company, Agassi made some classic commercials, partnering with such folks as Julia Childs, Anthony Kiedis and Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, as well as fellow tennis star Pete Sampras. Maybe this time around, he can lure his wife Steffi Graf, a longtime Adidas endorser, into the fold.