Kevin Durant adds endorsement deal

Kevin Durant hasn't yet played this season as he recovers from a broken bone in his foot, but the Oklahoma City Thunder forward continues to make moves off the court.

On Thursday, Durant -- who has more endorsement deals than any other NBA player -- signed on with fast-food drive-in chain Sonic to be its first athlete ambassador.

"Everything that Kevin pitches comes from an authentic point of view," said Michael Yormark, president and chief of branding and strategy for Roc Nation, Jay Z's agency that represents Durant. "When it comes to grab-and-go food, KD's a Sonic guy."

An extra layer of motivation to forge the partnership comes from the fact that Sonic, which has 3,500 restaurants in 44 states, has its headquarters in Oklahoma City. It's the second deal that Durant has done this year with an Oklahoma City company. Low-fat yogurt franchise Orange Leaf is also based there.

But for Sonic, signing Durant is clearly a national play for a growing brand.

Although the brand has most of its stores in Texas, where Durant played his college ball, and Oklahoma, the company has expanded to 16 new states since 2005. Sonic is the only burger chain among the top grossing in the U.S. that gained market share in the past year. The brand also has a stated goal of opening 1,000 drive-ins in the next 10 years.

"We feel really good about this partnership because Kevin is uniquely aligned with what we do and who we are as a brand," said Todd Smith, Sonic's chief marketing officer.

Sonic is not an NBA partner nor a Thunder partner but expects to feature Durant heavily, especially during the playoffs.

As part of Durant's deal, he will be responsible for coming up with his own dishes for the brand, which recently opened a test kitchen.

Yormark said Durant's items will be geared toward the healthier side, which falls in line with some of his other endorsements.

In addition to the Orange Leaf endorsement, Durant became the first athlete endorser of Sparkling Ice, a zero-calorie sparkling water brand, earlier this year. Durant also is an endorser of nut and fruit bar company Kind.

Sources say that to do the Sonic deal, Durant's team had to get approval from Kind, which had been assured that Durant would not position himself to endorse anything that could be seen as unhealthy.

This past offseason, Durant signed the largest shoe deal in history, agreeing to terms with Nike on a 10-year, $300 million deal.

Durant's other endorsement deals include Skullcandy headphones, the "NBA 2K" video game, BBVA Compass bank, Panini, the Oklahoma Department of Health and Neff, an underwear collection that will debut next year.

Without Durant and his sidekick Russell Westbrook, who has a broken bone in his hand, the Thunder have opened the season with a 3-10 record.