Dynamic Knights fullback Kalyn Ponga has been given a massive tick of approval by the world's largest sports apparel company.
Now one of the most recognised players in the NRL, Ponga has just signed a new 10-year, multi-million dollar contract with Nike.
He joins the likes of Newcastle-born NBA basketball star Ben Simmons, Matildas captain Sam Kerr, leading golfer Jason Day and English Premier League Socceroos stars Aaron Mooy and Mathew Ryan in Nike's stable of high profile Australian sporting ambassadors for the company.
To celebrate his new deal, Ponga, who turns 22 on Monday, is sporting a new tattoo with the famous Nike swoosh tick now featuring on the under-side of his right bicep.
The deal, several months in the making, was negotiated by Ponga's father Andre following the star fullback's split from former manager Wayde Rushton in early January.
Ponga snr has also been in talks on behalf of his son with Knights boss Phil Gardner about an upgrade and extension of his current contract with the club. He is signed until the end of next season and has an option in his favour for another year in 2022.
The Knights are looking to extend that out to at least the end of 2023. But any new deal won't be registered by the NRL until after the current financial crisis within the game is resolved.
Ponga and the Knights will also have to navigate around a potential significant drop in the salary cap that will affect all players.
The cap is now tipped to plummet from just under $10 million to as low as $7.5 million next season, as the fallout from the coronavirus crisis that has seen the premiership suspended this season continues to bite.
Andre Ponga said his son's involvement with Nike stretches back seven years but says this new deal takes their "partnership" to a whole new level.
"They are a wonderful company who have had an association with Kalyn since he was 15 so the relationship goes back a bit," he said.
"They have been really respectful about how we as a family go about things and dealing with Bittany Melrose and Curtis Evans from Nike Australia has been great - they have been really honest and willing to work hard with us to get this result.
"It's a really strong commitment from both sides for the next 10 years."
Ponga snr would not be drawn on how much the contract is worth over-all but it will stretch into millions of dollars.
"It's crazy support both financially and materialistically," he said.
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