Noah Lyles Says He Wishes the Details of His Adidas Contract Were Public

Lyles on non-disclosure agreements: "It's something that's been sucking since track & field started"

GLASGOW, Scotland — Reigning 100m/200m/4x100m world champion Noah Lyles signed a contract extension with adidas this week that will take him through the 2029 season and the announcement generated headlines because his agency, Global Athletics & Marketing, touted it as the richest track contract since Usain Bolt‘s retirement in 2017.

But only a few people truly know how much Lyles’ contract is worth: Lyles himself, his agent Mark Wetmore, adidas head of sports marketing Spencer Nel, and perhaps a few people within their respective inner circles. Almost every track & field endorsement contract — the main source of income for professional runners — is covered by a non-disclosure agreement (NDA), which prevents athletes from sharing details of the contract publicly.

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“I definitely wish we were able to say how much it was,” Lyles said. “In fact, somebody made a tweet and they were doing some math off of the $20 million that is assumed that Bolt made in 2017. And I’m not gonna lie, there was a number in there that was very, very close to the real thing. And I was just like, dang. I wish I could just at that moment actually say what it was.”

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Lyles, speaking after his first-round heat of the World Athletics Indoor Championships on Friday, said he has asked adidas multiple times to be allowed to share details of his contract. He said he has been rebuffed each time, and though he said was not provided with a specific reason, he thinks he knows why.

“I can guess why it is,” Lyles said. “It’s the same thing why they won’t let you in the job world say [how much you are making] — so they can have the one-up on employees and whatnot. It’s something that’s been sucking since track & field started. The way my agent phrases it is, when the track world first started and people started first making money, he believes [keeping contracts secret] was to not make anybody feel bad that they weren’t getting paid. But now we’re getting to the point where it’s like, all right, most of us are getting paid. The sport needs to adjust with it.”

The fact that Lyles’ agency announced his contract extension is itself notable as even contract extensions are rarely reported in track & field.

Lyles will be in action later on Friday when he competes in the semifinals and final (should he qualify) at the World Indoor Championships in Glasgow.

Check out the full interview with Lyles below.

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