Why are we an Adidas school?

  • I’m aware of the contract KU has with Adidas but can some explain how we ended up with them and for how long KU is obligated to their brand. Seems to me there is a real shoe war that dominates basketball recruiting and Adidas ends up as one of the have-nots when it comes to the very best of the prime high school stars. I wonder sometimes what our rosters would look like had we been a Nike school for the last ten years. Don’t get me wrong, coach has pulled in some really impressive classes and I always seem to love most of the kids he draws. Maybe I’m just being paranoid, but it feels like an embargo of top bigs has taken place.

  • @rocketdog

    My guess is that the longer we went Adidas, the harder it has become to go Nike. We have probably made much better connections in the AAU circuit with Adidas teams/coaches. I know we seem to have angered a lot of AAU people in our own State.

  • Banned


    Just yesterday I was shopping for an outfit to work out wit. You know what? I chose and bought Adidas gear. The thought never crossed my mind to look at Nike stuff. Crazy how advertising and shoe wars work.

    I don’t know the numbers on the Adidas contract, but I know Nike comes nowhere close. I believe Adidas covers all of KU sports teams where Nike only wants to cover Football, and men’s basketball.

    Dollars wise Adidas is the way better deal. Yet from a recruiting point Nike seems to have no equal. Just look at where the stacks are going. UK still has some good talent coming in, but it seems Nike is tired of giving Cal everything he needs to win a championship only to fail. So now the stacks are moving to other schools. That’s power.

    However I’m not sure KU being a Nike school would really help KU in recruiting. KU in the Nike stable of schools is just another school. Nike would and does have all the power. KU would be at the mercy of the Nike machine. Nike cares nothing of history, and blue bloods. Cross them and they will starve you out. A Nike school is a servant to the needs and dreams of the Nike Kingdom.

    Not all is lost with Adidas though. As the world and its many economy systems begin to falter, and a more friendly world economy begins to grow. I believe KU will be sitting better than most Nike schools. Adidas will be the reason behind it. KU is already landing very good to great talent from the world. I also truly believe Adidas was behind KU getting the nod for the WUG’s.

    KU would be just another school with Nike.

    KU is a flag ship with Adidas.

  • @DoubleDD I do remember hearing in the past, that Adidas offered a much better financial package, but forgot about how it included other sports. Seriously, I’m not complaining about Adidas and our affiliation with them, it’s just a little frustrating seeing top talent, with an apparent strong KU lean, end up changing their minds late. What’s really puzzling to me is when it’s obvious ( at least to me - big time KU homer ) that they’d be much better off short term and long term at KU.

  • @drgnslayr I’ve heard about KU’s friction with local and regional AAU teams/coaches over the years. What’s up with that? Politics? Dollar signs? Little column A? Little column B?

  • @rocketdog

    Adidas reputedly contracted UL for about $42-45,000,000.

    Adidas reputedly contracted Michigan for about $60, 000, 000.

    I forget KU’s contract, but it was huge relative to its Nike deal. Given the stratospheric $200,000,000 deal reputed for Harden, and given the rising importance of international competitions as means of marketing, College contracts to schools willing to broker their teams or select players to international competition mean school shoe contracts will sky rocket in coming years. And as school shoe contracts spike, coaching salaries and shoe contracts will likely skyrocket again. Self already can probably not afford to move to the pros based on the XTReme value of his next contract.

    This looming spike in contracts may also drive some of the apparent regime change destabilization under way at places like UNC. Anticipate lots more. Any elite program is likely to be targeted IMHO.

    My hunch is that most recruiting and regime change phenomena is now driven not only to brand players in D1, but also in international competition while in D1. It follows that more stacks are needed get more teams and more select players effectively and controllably branded during D1 for international competition, and vice versa. This appears a circular dynamic.

    And from a labor stand point, the petroshoecos and NCAA appear to be forcing two seasons on the players without having to proportionally increase their consideration received. One might wonder if The Drake Group and Sonny Vacarro and the legal team that brought the OBannon Case might find some grounds to challenge this double season exploitation, but you never know.

  • @rocketdog

    Simple answer. MONEY. KU was a Nike school and switched to Adidas because it got a much better deal and currently has one of the better deal in college sports…when you factor that the football program, typically the big money maker, is irrelevant and the contract is based almost uniquely on the success of the basketball program.

    Very few of the professional shoe endorsers justify the payment they receive based on sales of the shoe they endorse. This article from Forbes is is interesting.

  • Strategic advantage often is unjustified by its cost.

    Militaries required to hold strategic advantage often do not justify their cost.

    But strategic advantage is the cost of staying in business and can only be understood in terms of the vastly greater costs to staying in business by other means, or the greatest cost of all–going out of business and losing ALL sunk costs and all future net benefits of staying in business.

    Paying the endorsers vast sums-- both individuals and schools–is worth every penny to hold strategic advantage to stay in business.

  • @rocketdog

    Sorry I didn’t respond. I didn’t respond because I really don’t know much about all of this. I knew others would give a more realistic response… and they did!

  • When it comes to quality of apparel, I think Adidas is the best. No clue regarding shoes though since I get a new pair once every three years or so.

  • When it comes to shoes, it depends on the person.

    For me, I always play basketball in Nikes because I have a history of ankle injuries that flare up/ reinjure when I don’t wear Nike/ Jordan brand. However, I know a guy that is just the opposite that cannot wear Nikes to play in because they flare foot problems for him. I haven’t even tried a pair of non-Nike/ Jordan Brand basketball shoes on in 10+ years. Just not worth the injury risk.

    As for the AAU circuit, it’s not just Nike or Adidas that has caused us problems locally. Coach Self does not have a good relationship with the MoKan Elite staff because he didn’t pay a lot of attention to them when that program was first starting to grow. Self was very close to the Pump N Run squad and followed a lot of Pump players, even those that were not as marginal. As we all know, if a school like Kansas is recruiting you in basketball, or even just following you, that could mean scholarship offers at lesser schools. Many AAU teams will use coaches at major schools that they have good relationships with to get offers for their non-stars.

    The typical scenario is that College Coach will be recruiting Star Player X on Team Whatever. Team Whatever has 2-3 guys that are going to go to major schools, but there are 10 guys on Team Whatever. For the coaches of Team Whatever, it looks good for their program if every single guy on that team gets a scholarship offer. They know 3 guys will get offers, but they need to figure out how to get the other 7. They have some juco coaches interested in their bottom 2 or 3 guys because it’s pretty clear their bottom couple of guys aren’t D1 recruits right now. But those guys in the middle are tough. If they can get College Coach to mention off the record to other coaches that he’s also checking out Rotation Player 5, maybe Mid Major Coach that was thinking about asking Rotation Player 5 to walk on now decides to offer the kid a scholarship before too many other schools get interested. At the mid major level, offering first is a huge advantage in landing kids, so even just tipping the interest a little bit is enough to get a kid a couple of D1 offers.

    As I understand it, Self did this for Pump N Run, but wasn’t as helpful with MoKan Elite when he first arrived. As a result, now that MoKan has some serious talent, they are directing those kids elsewhere because Self didn’t help them out as they were trying to grow. Helping an AAU team sign a kid to a mid major program, either by connecting them with a former assistant or a coaching friend (such as Self recommending a kid to Illinois State or SMU, or Gardner Webb when Michael Lee was there) is how you really build those relationships because getting those kids signed D1 is what helps the AAU coach recruit more (better) players, which in turn means more money for the program, higher profile, even better players, even more money, even higher profile, etc.

  • @justanotherfan

    Interesting post.

    Let’s say Self wasn’t as open with MoKan as he was Pump… and now MoKan is getting some top recruits and not open to Self and Kansas. I know we look at it from our perspective… it is hurting us because we are missing out on some key talent. But wouldn’t it still hurt MoKan? Are they now a higher “elite” than Kansas? It seems like some talented players may not want to play with them if it sort of guarantees they won’t be going to Kansas.

    Self may have had a short-sighted past with MoKan, but it sounds like MoKan is having the short-sightedness now. And if they aren’t working with Self, should Self even give offers to their players?

    Just thoughts…

  • Let’s say you’re MoKan and you aren’t sending kids to KU, but you are sending kids to Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, etc. Are you hurt because you aren’t sending kids to one of the major schools, but are sending them to the rest? I say no. KU is hurt because they are missing on local talent. MoKan isn’t hurt, because their players are still getting recruited by big time programs.

    MoKan may miss out on a local kid that absolutely wants to go to KU, but that’s not a guarantee. After all, I would bet that most kids that age haven’t really picked a school, or, if they are a potential D1 recruit, they may not be certain that they will make it to the KU level, and if MoKan offers you a better chance to go to D1 at a lower school, isn’t that the better choice?

    There are a lot of moving parts here, but that’s the general idea.

  • @justanotherfan

    I’m just thinking… why would I want to play anywhere where they are fencing any elite school out?

    I could see it would be a natural if I didn’t like Kansas in the first place.

  • I remember back when KU was signing the contract. I believe it was when HCBS was renewing his contract with KU. HCBS actually said that the Adidas contract completely covered his paycheck, and that the Nike contract was only around half.

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