Shoe wars



  • Before I get started a little mention to the mystery person that uncovered the truth about the power of shoe companies. The one and only (((Jaybate))).

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    So we all know KU is an Adidas school. It seems Adidas gives the university of Kansas a much better deal than Nike is willing to do. Not sure why? Maybe because Nike thinks they and their products are bigger than the name that wears their apparel? I don’t know. I’m still trying to get my feet wet on all this shoe wars. There are so many ways to go with this. but I have 3 points or questions that I want to ask. I do kind of have my own feelings about this, but I want to hear from other like minded KU fans too.

    Ok so your in a store looking for a pair of shoes, cool sports shirt, or an outfit that allows you to show your friends and foes you still have game. Does KU being an Adidas school affect your decision? Me myself I have to admit I do tend to look and buy more Adidas apparel gear, even though I do like some of the stuff Nike puts out.

    Next which is a no-brainer do you think KU being an Adidas school hurts or helps KU recruiting? I have mixed feelings about this one. It seems here lately that KU has been getting in on some very top foreign players. Honestly I have no ideal if it has anything to do with KU and Adidas joining forces. However it does seem to me that KU and HCBS are paying more attention to foreign players. My only reserve about this is, are the foreign kids as good as the one and done players we are seeing here in the states? Like I said I have mixed feelings about this one.

    Lastly which is hard to explain but I’ll try my best. Does KU being an Adidas school help or hurt? Now this is were it’s gets difficult for me to understand and even express. To me there is a danger in this. Perception is a very powerful tool. It can help or destroy you. It seems to me KU is getting more and more into recruiting foreign players. Does KU become that school where foreign player go too? If so does it hurt KU in recruiting state side? Does the media change in how it writes and portrays KU basketball as a whole? Does KU become an outsider in the very game they invented, nurtured, and protected all this century?

    I maybe reaching in all this, but it was a thought I had to day and believed it would make for a good topic. Thanks for the inspiration Jaybate. :-)



  • @DoubleDD I was Adidas when Adidas wasn’t cool.

    (Partly because Nike shoes generally are too narrow for my fat feet)



  • @nuleafjhawk

    I’m the same as you. Nike shoes are too narrow!

    I’m Adidas!



  • I’m a Nike guy for shoes because the narrowness has helped me avoid sprained ankles. I’ve worn other shoes in the past and had ankle problems, but never in Nikes. That’s just my experience, though.

    As for the shoe deals, it’s a marketing strategy thing. For Nike, they try to get 2-3 major schools in every conference. In the Big 12, that’s Oklahoma and Texas. In the Big 10, it’s tOSU and MSU. In the PAC-12 it’s Stanford and Oregon. In the SEC, Florida, Alabama and Kentucky. ACC has Florida State, Duke and UNC. I think Nike tries to cover both football and basketball, but they pay a premium for football because football is the money maker.

    Obviously for KU, this hurts because KU football has been weak the last several years. OU and Texas give Nike a good presence in the midwest, so they are in a position where they don’t have to offer KU as much money because they already got Texas and OU. On the other hand Reebok and Adidas are in a position where they need a deal with a prominent midwest school, so they have to offer KU a good deal, hence why KU took the Adidas deal.

    Honestly, I don’t think this affects recruiting. Most of the top players attend all of the various camps, so they have Nike stuff from the Nike camp, Adidas stuff from the Adidas camp, Reebok stuff, etc. Individual players probably have some preferences, but I don’t think many players are choosing a school because it is a “Nike” school or an “Adidas” school or whatever.

    I don’t think this hurts KU’s perception, ultimately. The product on the court/field is what matters. In basketball, that product is strong. In football it is not. That’s what helps or hurts.



  • @justanotherfan

    Reebok has been a subsidiary of Adidas for while now and they are no longer a player in college sports; in fact, I cannot think of single school that is sponsored by them. Under Armor, on the other hand, has made some inroads in college sports and now they sponsor Maryland, Texas Tech. and Notre Dame among others.

    I agree that affiliation with a brand does not seem to help or hurt in recruiting as much as some would think. KU has done very well recruiting (in basketball) and so has Louisville, both Adidas schools. I believe that Kentucky’s recruiting success is more related to Calipari than Nike.



  • DoubleDD,

    You are lifting the curtain on the apparent Wizard(s) of Oz here–the ShoeCos. Your post gives a new angle I had not thought of. I am on the road and so will have to think on it. Rock Chalk!



  • @DoubleDD

    "My only reserve about this is, are the foreign kids as good as the one and done players we are seeing here in the states? "

    I get my answer from the San Antonio Spurs. They may not be the most-athletic team in the league, but they focus so much harder than any other team.

    I felt 100% sure they were going to take the title this year and they were going to do it in big fashion. It was on their lips since last summer. I knew they had the capability to focus as a team… and they did.

    Compare them to Miami, and the fractured concept of “team” and “focus.” Miami knew they were in trouble before that championship series and they were constantly looking for extra motivation to help their cause. SA needed no additional motivation. Their motivation started a year ago.

    A big smile appeared on my face when Bill Self connected further with SA. Yes… someday he may be their next coach, and if that is the case, hooray for Bill! But in the meantime, I hope he became influenced from Coach Pop and how he got his troops to buy in to his game. It is all about FOCUS with Pop! Sometimes you have to have patience, but execution will come eventually as long as you stay focused!

    I’m optimistic that Self realizes he needs answers for how to better prepare for March, and he may have found some of those answers in San Antonio!

    One part of the answer is to recruit players that are capable of focusing better. Having lived abroad, I believe recruiting foreign players can be a big help in putting together a team that can better focus.



  • @drgnslayr There’s a concept that Pat Riley talks about when it comes to championship teams. He started talking about it back when he was with the Showtime Lakers. Basically, its an issue where once a team has had success, everybody starts wanting more - more fame, more publicity, more playing time, more shots, more credit, whatever. And that desire for more cuts into the type of sacrifices necessary to play championship basketball.

    For Miami, the disease of more caught up to them this year, combined with an aging roster. Look at Miami’s team from this season, but from a different angle:

    3 - Wade, Haslem 2 - James, Bosh, Allen, Anthony, Anderson, Chalmers, Cole, Battier 1 - Lewis

    That’s everyone that was in the rotation for this year’s Miami team, according to how many titles they have. Only Rashard Lewis didn’t have multiple titles.

    Now look at San Antonio

    4 - Duncan 3 - Parker, Ginobili 1 - Bonner

    That’s a roster where most of the guys on the team - Leonard, Mills, Splitter, Diaw, Green, Belinelli, Joseph - had never won a title. Those guys were hungry because for most of the Spurs, the only Finals experience they had was losing after they had been so close the previous year.

    You have to remember, in the last minute of Game 6 of the 2013 Finals, they actually had rolled the championship trophy out in anticipation of a Spurs win. Some of the players on the bench actually saw the trophy sitting in the wings. The floor staff was already beginning to rope off the floor and bring out the stage. That’s how close Leonard, Green, Diaw, Joseph and Splitter were to their first NBA title. They could literally see it right in front of them.

    And then it was snatched away.

    I can’t criticize the Heat too much because they played in the last game of the season in four straight seasons, and won two titles along the way. That doesn’t happen unless you construct a great roster with a group that is committed to playing basketball the right way. They just ran out of gas this year against a younger, fresher, hungrier Spurs team.

    I disagree that the Spurs aren’t athletic. Tony Parker is one of the quickest PG’s in the league. He may not be a high flyer, but his speed and quickness is absolutely elite. Kawhi Leonard is a tremendous athlete. Danny Green isn’t Lebron or even Kawhi Leonard, but he’s athletic. Ginobili still has some bounce. Splitter is a pretty athletic big guy.

    Compare that to Miami - Obviously Lebron is an elite athlete by any measure. But neither Cole or Chalmers is an uber athlete for an NBA PG. Wade is about at the same place as Ginobili. Battier is well past his prime. Same goes for Haslem, Lewis and Allen. Joel Anthony isn’t any more athletic than Splitter. Anderson is more athletic than those guys, but not tremendously so. Bosh is athletic as far as being mobile, but when matched inside with a guy like Duncan, his quickness can’t match Duncan’s strength, so it evens out. Athlete for athlete, the Heat weren’t any more athletic than the Spurs. Once you discount James and Leonard (the two truly elite athletes in the series), the athleticism was actually fairly even. It’s just that the thought of a guy like Lebron makes you think Miami as a whole is more athletic. That’s just not the case, and when you have a guy like Leonard who can match up with James athletically, the fact that SA was pretty even with them (if not more athletic, honestly) starts to show, especially when you account for the depth of the Spurs.



  • @justanotherfan ah man I hate to get into this Heat verses the Spurs, however a board rat must do what he as to do. :)

    There is a few things I want to point out here. First is that the Spurs team was a built team and the Heat where a team put together. Drafting and signing FA’s are not one in the same. Here’s a great article I found about the Heat verse the Spurs if you’re interested.

    link text

    What the Heat did had great success. Two championships in 4 years is nothing to sneeze at, however lets keep in mind the East is lacking in some power teams. Ask yourself this question would the Heat even make it out of the West to a championship game? and just for fun do you think the Heat get past oh I don’t know lets say Jordan’s Bulls? ;)



  • @justanotherfan I have to be honest with you the more I research do and then connecting the dots. I’m afraid I can’t go back to the innocence days of believing when a kid signs with your school it’s just because he wants too. You’ve heard the saying where there is smoke there is fire? Look around there is smoke everywhere.

    Just look at a couple of examples here. Kids are being recruited long before they even finish High School, and still some even before they make it to High School. Who’s doing that recruiting? Who’s paying for that recruiting. All these AAU teams, leagues and tournaments are sponsored mostly by who? Notice how Duke has been getting some big time recruits the last two years? I mean they’ve always have gotten good players but nothing like this. Remember the rumors of Wiggins signing a big deal with Adidas even before he stepped on campus. There never was no rumors of him signing with Nike. I wonder why? As you know He did indeed sign with Adidas.

    I don’t know how all this works, but I find it very interesting that Nike doesn’t even try to make a serious play to sponsor Kansas. Some have said and some will say it’s because of football. Well last time I checked UK, UNC, and Duke aren’t exactly football powers themselves yet they are Nike schools. So why is this? Have boundaries lines already been set. Are the powers to be in the shoe and sports apparel world sitting in dark rooms smoking big fat cigars deciding the very fate of our society?



  • @DoubleDD

    In all fairness, the sports apparel companies will go where they believe they can derive the greatest return for their money. Duke, North Carolina and Kentucky have been powerhouse basketball programs and they play, particularly the two ACC teams in the viewer rich East Coast. Their football programs are much better than KU and both Duke and UNC are getting pre-season top 25 votes. Kentucky might not have a top football program but they play in the football crazy SEC and its huge audience.

    KU, on the other hand, sits in one of the smaller markets and the football team is a net minus. I Imagine Adidas derives very little benefit from KU’s football program and the bulk of the contract is based on the excellence of the basketball program. Nike has Oklahoma and Texas with big football programs (where the money really is) that provide huge exposure in the south and mid-west. So, KU is in a catch-22, being in a small market and having a well below average football program. It is amazing that the basketball program has almost single-handedly generated the income that KU has seen.



  • Just read under armor offered KD 30 million for 1 year! His other contract is up soon.



  • @DoubleDD

    I truly believe the reason Nike hasn’t made a big push to sponsor KU is because they already have OU and Texas on the roster. If OU and Texas were not with Nike, I think Nike’s approach would probably change with regard to KU.

    As for whether the shoe companies are recruiting or steering kids to certain schools, that is difficult to pin down. Duke got big time recruits the last few years, but is that because of Nike, or because they have Kyrie Irving playing well in the NBA and Coach K in a prominent spot coaching USA basketball?

    Was Wiggins not targeted by Nike because Nike has spent a large amount of its budget on Lebron, Durant and others, including the aforementioned Irving? I think both companies are looking at players and deciding who fits with their marketing idea. Wiggins is a quiet guy, similar in that trait to another Adidas front man (Derrick Rose). Lebron and Durant are both much more outgoing in personality. Does personality play into who each company focuses on when it comes to marketing?

    I don’t know the answers to this, but I would imagine that those things play into that decision as much as anything else.



  • @justanotherfan I don’t know how it all works, but nobody ( yes I care what your point is or what you have to say :) ) but nobody can convince me that Duke, UNC, and UK are football powers and this is why they have Nike. Lets not for forget not to long ago KU made a BCS game and won. Something these basketball powers haven’t done. I have no doubt Nike offered KU a deal, but Adidas offered a better one. So the question is why? I’m sorry I don’t think it’s just about the Longhorns and Sooners already being Nike schools.

    Again I know I have no facts to back up anything I’m saying. However just look around. KU players that have star power often and due sign with Adidas. Also haven’t you noticed that KU is on in every player that is foreign born. Even this latest cat Ray Kasongo is from Canada. Kind of funny Oregon a Nike school turned this kid down, even though he was approved by the NCAA. First thing you hear and read is he is interested in KU. Don’t you find it odd that LeBron can’t even pick up the phone and talk to Wiggs? Wonder why? Could it be that Nike is hedging it’s bet that the Cavs are a championship team? I wonder was there any pressure on Wiggs to sign with Nike? What would’ve happened if Wiggs signed with Nike? Think he still gets traded?

    You have to admit it’s something that gets the brain cells turning.



  • @DoubleDD

    It is all about the audience you can reach. Duke and UNC have been powerhouse basketball programs and now they are both borderline top 25 in football as well where the KU football programs at the very bottom. More importantly, they are on the East Coast with an audience considerably larger than KU.

    Look at the K-State program that has been consistently top 20 in football for while now, and they have decent basketball program to boot, and yet they cannot get the contracts lesser programs do. Their audience is tiny compared to other less successful programs and hence they have no big offers. They are competing in very limited market against two other states schools which lessens the market share even further. MU, on the other hand, is located in a state with over twice the population of Kansas and they are the only major school in the state and has the lion’s share of the audience, and thus have a huge advantage.

    Adidas is huge in soccer (although Nike is gaining) and soccer is the most popular sports most everywhere not called the USA, so a lot of foreign players have a much greater exposure and brand awareness to Adidas than they do Nike. I grew up playing soccer and back then, the Adidas cleats were what every player aspired to get. Its is not really surprising that foreign players favor Adidas.


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