Memory Hole Recall: 5.1.13 ARTICLE in BLACK ENTERPRISE Reported adidas Lost 17 School Contracts Over Two Years Due to Overseas Employment Improprieties...Hmmm

  • Not sure if this were ever posted here, but it is worth a read within a context of hypothetical on-going destabilization and regime change strategies in Big Shoe and CBB, and what KU might, or might not be able to do in the midst of it.

    IMHO, here is an important quote from the 5.1.2013 story in Black Enterprise.

    “The major sports apparel company [adidas] had their contracts terminated or suspended by 17 schools to be exact.” (italics added by yours truly)

    This “or suspended” appears to suggest (note: I am only a layman fan trying to interpret a news story, not a legal professional offering expert opinion) that a university’s legal counsel (like KU’s?) could somehow justify suspending a contract, because of adidas overseas conduct toward manufactures, as in this prior case with an Indonesian shoe manufacturer, PT Kizone. As a layman, I have no way of evaluating the legal feasibility of this sort of thing in KU’s case. I am only calling attention to the issue.

    How legally bound to adidas is KU really?

    Since other schools reputedly found their contracts with adidas something they could walk away from, it appears the color of money was (is?) what binds KU to adidas. Maybe not a surprise…maybe not even proof positive, but how about supporting evidence? 🙂

    P.S.: Also notice which leading adidas school near and dear to our hearts does NOT have a player in the picture posted with the story. Hmmm. Was a KU player cropped, or did a KU player just never appear in the photo? Idle off season question. Next.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    The article header appears to indicate a June 15, 2015 date while the byline is May 1, 2013.

    That is one of the more poorly written articles I have seen in a while. Parts of it are copied verbatim from the ESPN article they cited, "Why are colleges at odds with adidas? " dated 4/29/2013 which is over two years old and a few days older than the main article byline. By the way, the 2 year old ESPN article indicates that Adidas had reached a settlement about the PT Kizone issue something this article failed to mention.

    I am not sure why this two year issue is relevant now.

    Some of the smaller colleges mentioned by ESPN likely do not make any money for Adidas, and some of the larger programs involved get a lot of political pressure to speak on the subject, even when Adidas, much like Nike and the Dallas Cowboys, which used the same facilities, had an agreement with a business enterprise and not with the workers themselves and as such, likely had not legal obligation to pay the workers themselves.

    Like I said, I am sure Adidas had no problems letting small colleges off their contracts which in many cases are a little more than a handshake and involve a few hundred thousand dollars at best. The larger contracts are pretty much ironclad and would be very difficult to get out of. Apparently Wisconsin tried to exert pressure with the help of the State Attorney General (talk about politics) and guess what…2 years later they are still an Adidas school.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    While I agree that the writer that wrote this story is probably not going to win a Pulitzer anytime soon, I try never to let writing style come between me and useful content.

    For example, when I have read about the US Civil War, some of the most telling facts and opinions I read were written rather poorly by unskillful journalists and not very articulate soldiers and civilians.

    Likewise, when reading basketball opining on boards, occasionally some of the most insightful things I have read are from aliases that have not written them very well, at least according to my subjective notions of good exposition.

    Further, though I hate to admit it, sometimes I put things skillfully, again according to my subjective standards, and learn I am completely wrong, as you and others make usefully clear from time to time. 🙂

    Next, I also noted some ambiguity of posting date. I didn’t make much of it. Maybe I should have. I guessed that the story was first written in 2013, and then perhaps edited/added to/subtracted from on the more recent date you mention. It is an interesting point to note, but it is not unprecedented in my recall that stories posted one date are altered and re-posted at a later date. Regardless, it would be very interesting to know what was added or subtracted in the interests of building a historical time line of Big Shoe’s actions in college basketball the last decade.

    That being said, the article, as it stands, might have relevance to board rats on a few levels.

    First, awareness of it adds a significant data point to the evolutionary timeline of the current situation involving Big Shoe. Back in approximately some two year period apparently spanning portions of 2011 to 2013, adidas was apparently not only struggling with the Euro depression that reputedly drove it to try to offset Euro losses by aggressive attempts at increasing market share in North America, it was simultaneously seeing its efforts blunted by at least 17 schools reported in this story telling adidas thanks but no thanks, while Nike and the Dallas Cowboys apparently agreed to make amends and move on. What the story does NOT tell us is adidas reason for not similarly making amends, and instead apparently bearing the adversity of losing 17 schools. Maybe someone will be able to find that out, too. Whatever the answer will be, the situation indicates a significant divergence in strategy by Nike and adidas and those sorts of divergence in strategy might sometimes offer insight into the competition among players in an activity.

    Second, the story makes it appear possible that perhaps some of the schools were not just walking away at the end of contracts, but rather walking away during contracts; that would be very significant news, if it were in fact the case. Why? Because it suggests that these shoe contracts are not viewed as an airtight commitment; that there are legal recourses based on legacy conduct by adidas that can allow the contracts to be walked away from. I find this interesting, because I, as a layman and a fan, had assumed these shoe contracts to be largely enforceable.

    Third, this story suggests that adidas’ difficulty in signing more schools might be rather more complicated than just Nike already having a lot of the bases covered. And it raises the question of whether adidas has been largely the cause of adidas’ reputed difficulties in penetrating the North American market, rather than its interplay with a larger competitor.

    Fourth, the story leaves a possible impression, given the two dates when the story appears to have been written, and apparently then amended, that this issue may not be entirely extinguished.

    At least those are some points of relevance that strike me even without further reading on the topic, and being a layman and a fan, rather than a legal expert.

    Finally, I do recall anything in the story, nor do I recall reading a published list of the 17 schools that ended their contractual relationship with adidas elsewhere, confirming your belief that the schools were all inconsequential schools and involved handshakes, rather than written contracts. Thus, I am not clear why you would assume that to be the case. But if it were the case, I am also not clear why this would not establish a precedent that these contracts between schools and adidas were something less than airtight. But again, I am a layman, and perhaps lacking sufficient legal expertise to appreciate the situation.

  • I wonder if schools still make deals based on connections to recruits? Sonny Vaccaro wasn’t selling shoes, he was selling his connections.

    How many connected guys are out there? Does World Wide Wes “sell shoes?”

    I bet we could learn a lot from talking to some of the infamous AAU coaches…

  • @jaybate-1.0

    If you open the link to the original ESPN story (cited in the original article in your post as well as mine), the list of schools is there…

    Like I said, the original ESPN story indicated that Adidas had already settled the issue back in 2013, something the article you cited failed to mention, so I am still not sure why something that was done and settled well over 2 years ago is relevant now; actually the PT Kizone stopped producing Adidas products back in 2010.

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    Thanks for the heads up about the list. I completely missed that.

    That link you woke me up to lists the following schools as schools either that had broken it off with adidas, or were in negotiations about doing so.

    “Cornell, Rutgers, Washington, Georgetown, University of Montana, Santa Clara University, College of William and Mary, Northeastern University, Temple University and Washington State terminated contracts with adidas. In addition, administrators at Oregon State told USAS they sent a termination letter on April 16. Oberlin and three University of Minnesota system campuses (Twin Cities, Crookston and Morris) advised adidas that they would not renew when their current athletics apparel contract are completed. Wisconsin has sued adidas, with the assistance of the Wisconsin attorney general, and in mid-March, Penn State suspended its contract, giving adidas 60 days to rectify the situation.”

    Plus the University of Michigan which had a $60 million dollar contract with adidas was then cited as being in negotiations with adidas about the PT Kizone issue.

    Are you still thinking these sorts of schools would contract with adidas on a handshake? I have a hunch those kinds of schools had written contracts that lawyers had a hand in.

    Next, IMHO, the Black Enterprise story, as reported, especially with the link to the original story, is still relevant for all the reasons I indicated above, especially to me because I missed most of this the first time back in 2013, as far as I can recall. I posted it here, because I figured maybe a few other board rats missed most, or all, of this story in 1913, too.

    Plus, thanks to you, we now have another fascinating vector to keep an eye on.

    Why has the Black Enterprise portal chosen to present this story in the way that it has, in the timing that it has, given all the issues of resolution and old news that you cite?

    There is just something about some stories about Big Shoe that appear to keep them from going away, when reason suggests they ought to, and instead, keep getting more complicated as they evolve.

    Maybe it has to do with context; i.e., that the stories initially are reported in a very sketchy context of what Big Shoe is actually doing in college basketball, and that context of what Big Shoe is doing then emerges with greater detail as time passes, and that in turn makes some of the old stories, like this one, be viewed in a fresh light that is itself still some how incomplete.

  • @drgnslayr

    Bing back at you.


    What are the connections?

    And how are those connections soldered into a circuit joining all those we at least know a little of?

    Those seem crucial concepts of this situation.

    Big Shoe is here.

    And Big Agent is over here.

    And in between appear to be the AAU coaches, the basketball factory academy coaches, certain juco coaches, and the agent runners.

    And over here are the players and their families.

    To keep things simple, lets leave out Big Media and Big Gaming, Officiating, Conferences and the NCAA and its member institutions. Let’s get the sub circuit, if you will, nailed down.

    (Note: Honestly, I feel so dumb about this stuff. I can’t believe I have watched college basketball all these years and read posts about recruiting, and I still can’t understand this circuit that delivers players hither, thither, and stack.)

    What we need is for, someone, say, a retired AAU coach, to draw us fans a little wiring diagram of the circuitry today.

    If I recall correctly, a few old AAU coaches talked to Dan Wetzel and Don Yaeger, authors of 2000’s “Sole Influence: Basketball, Corporate Greed, and the Corruption of America’s Youth.”

    But that was then and this is now.

    Maybe AAU has become such a big revenue generator in its own right that AAU coaches have too much to risk to talk openly about the circuitry.

    Maybe an agent runner?

  • @jaybate-1.0

    “(Note: Honestly, I feel so dumb about this stuff. I can’t believe I have watched college basketball all these years and read posts about recruiting, and I still can’t understand this circuit that delivers players hither, thither, and stack.)”

    Welcome to the club!

    “What we need is for, someone, say, a retired AAU coach, to draw us fans a little wiring diagram of the circuitry today.”

    That’s what I’m thinking. And… I believe they only know a piece of the puzzle… the piece that involves them. I’m sure there are some “deal makers” out there that will always be silent. Why would they interrupt the flow of cash into their accounts?

    I think what ended it for Sonny was his public visibility. And when the cameras went on, he started sharing more information. “Loose lips sink ships!”

    I don’t think Big Shoe wants this:


  • @jaybate-1.0

    I was referring to the small schools mentioned, Oberlin and three University of Minnesota system campuses, Twin Cities, Crookston and Morris, which likely get uniforms for a couple of their teams at best and no cash. I am sure some of the bigger schools used the issue to either over to Nike or get a better deal from Adidas.

    Here is a link to what schools receive from their contracts. Even big programs like Oklahoma State apparently do not get any cash only sports gear. KU and Louisville are by far the biggest Adidas programs and according to this article they are overpaid while Nike Schools are underpaid…go figure. Don’t forget that before 2005, KU was a Nike school. 😃

  • @JayHawkFanToo

    KU in a strange way seems a crucial tile in the Big Shoe mosaic–kind of a wild card to mix metaphors.

    In retrospect Dean, Roy and Sonny appear possibly pivotal in the beginning to building what kind of appears again in retrospect perhaps the first structure for collective biasing of player distribution apparently involving Big Shoe. Before them it appears coaches and alumni of an individual school worked unilaterally to attract players to single schools. Hypothetically speaking, Dean and Sonny seem to have been possibly the first to engage in bias-ing of talent to TWO schools by apparently working with Roy at KU and dividing up not so much the country, as the recruits geographically. What in retrospect seems a kind of Dean/Sonny/Roy alliance apparently cooperated to some kind of degree for some apparent period to channel eastern talent to Dean and western talent to Roy, if one were to give credence to Roy’s reputed indication that he agreed with Dean to recruit west of the Mississippi. This apparent cooperation, if in fact it were real, in effect appeared to indirectly help limit talent available to other programs. And KU appeared for a time not just Nike KU, but perhaps a proto-Nike-Jordan West. I have some vague recollection of Roy at KU talking about having recruited MJ to UNC and of MJ even visiting KU. At the time, it seemed like nothing more than a former player lending a former coach some of his star power to help him recruit. But it appears somehow different in retrospect if one hypothesizes a possibly broader dynamic involving Dean, Roy, Sonny and MJ.

    Somewhere along the way Nike’s Jordan line emerged and Sonny and Nike parted ways.

    And Roy had some recruiting controversy arise reputedly related to Jaron Rush and Myron Piggie.

    Later Roy left to answer Dean’s call to return to a faltering UNC and Self and KU carried on as Nike KU for a time.

    Then KU and Self reputedly signed with Adidas.

    Thus, some interesting figures in the legacy of Big Shoe involvement in college basketball appear to converge and diverge during Roy’s tenure in the KU BASKETBALL legacy.

    Of course, the above is at most hypothetical speculation based on appearances. From the outside looking in, it seems impossible to say what really happened.

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