It wasn’t the biggest deal in sports history, but it’s a significant one, for Nike.
Nike Sportswears, one of the world’s largest athletic wear manufacturers, is in talks to buy up to 1 billion shares of Facebook, its latest high-profile purchase.
The deal could be worth as much as $1 billion, according to people familiar with the talks.
A Nike spokeswoman declined to comment.
Shares of Nike rose more than 4% on the news.
This week, Nike also announced that it has signed a $10 million agreement with Facebook to sell advertising on the social network.
And in the past month, Nike has spent $500 million on research and development, including developing new sports-specific Nike shoes.
So Nike’s investment is not new.
But its scale and scope is unique.
“They’re getting in with an eye to really be the next big thing,” said Andrew Wilson, a sports analyst at research firm Wedbush Securities.
“The idea of Nike getting into a sports shoe is a little bit of a stretch.”
But Nike has also spent the past few years developing a sports-focused marketing campaign for its Nike+ social network, which is available to watch on Apple’s Watch and Apple TV.
That strategy was also the subject of a recent lawsuit that accused Nike of infringing on patents related to the Nike+ platform, according a complaint filed in San Francisco federal court by a pair of former Nike employees.
In a statement to The Associated Press, Nike acknowledged that it had “further developed a range of Nike+ related technologies and processes” and said it would continue to do so.
But it did not offer further details on how the company plans to leverage its new technology and what impact that may have on its overall sports-inspired marketing efforts.
Its initial investments in Nike+ have been in sports-related brands, including Nike, Nike+ for Men, and Nike+ and the Nike Academy.
But its recent investments in sports apparel have been a more broad approach, with brands including Nike and Adidas paying $300 million to buy back some of their shares, according, for instance, to The Wall Street Journal.