Would Self Be Able to Recruit More Talent and Depth, If Self and KU Shifted from adidas to Nike?

  • Put another way, would Self and KU likely be able to sign more highly ranked incoming freshman, especially at 1and 5 positions, in most recruiting classes, and so have fewer “needs” most seasons needing to be filled by transfers, if Self and KU CONTRACTED with Nike, rather than adidas?

  • @jaybate-1.0 If that were the case…why would we not sign on with Nike…even if Adidas pays more? Wouldn’t the benefit of getting better players offset the decreased revenue from the contract?

  • I’m of two minds on this issue. My first issue would be where would KU be in the pecking order for Nike?

    My second issue would be are we talking short term or long term here? Short term, Nike would be preferable even if KU is 4th or 5th in the Nike chain. Long term, I think Under Armour might be a better option. American company who’s putting emphasis on basketball right now. There’s also much room to grow and KU would likely be the face of UA college basketball with UCLA. KU would be 4th at best with Nike behind UK, Duke, UNC, and possibly Oregon for funneling players.

    I don’t like Adidas long term because soccer will always be their top priority with them being a German based company. I’m fine with Adidas short term because KU is their flagship program.

    If Nike would bump up KU to #2 after Coach K abd Roy retire, I would jump to Nike ASAP, otherwise I think Under Armour is the better long term option for KU to become their top program.

  • I wonder… perhaps we become another revolving door team like UK if we switch.

    I’m not sure Self wants a revolving door team. If he doesn’t, but top shelf talent wants to sign with Kansas… can he refuse? Of course he can… but wouldn’t that hurt us immediately and also put into question his strategy?

    I think going Adidas keeps us from that. It seems like we get a few of the very top shelf players who maybe even prefer Adidas.

    I’m sill not sure how much of an impact it has on recruits’ decisions. In the least, there are a lot more Nike events between high school and college. It seems like Nike schools have an edge for that reason alone.

  • @Hawk8086

    I would think the huge sums adidas reputedly pays Self and KU could compensate, since TV monies and gate receipts are already maxed regardless of which brand were contracted with.

  • @Texas-Hawk-10

    Your analysis is the best I have read over the years for the simple reason that you articulate the gradations of trade offs to be considered.

    There are a constellation of benefits and costs to be considered with any brand.

    Apparently, Nike offers the best path to win rings, since Nike and Air Jordan teams win ALL the rings under the current regime since 08 and dominate the Final Four.

    Apparently adidas offers an excellent cash benefit and enough access to talent to win conference titles but not rings, or to operate without increasing numbers of transfers.

    adidas appears to treat KU as its premier program, and one can only wonder where KU might rank in Nike’s pecking order.

    I suspect there are many more factors at play.

    KU fans need to become as knowledgeable of the cost-benefit calculus operating as possible, so they can judge whether KU is maximizing its potential, or falling far short.

    We know leadership almost always says it knows best and is making the best tradeoff possible, but we also know from experience in all paths of human endeavor that leadership is almost always biased by the net benefits it is receiving and so not a wholly reliable judge of its own performance.

    Thus, KU fans should never solely rely on the opinions of its coach, AD, and Chancellor in matters of what is best for KU BASKETBALL. We fans, fickle though leadership accuses us of being, when they are defending their performances and paychecks, are frankly far more objective, and devoted to KU Basketball over the long term than are coaches, ADs and Chancellors. They come and go. We remain. They get pay checks and other benefits that can bias their judgements, even with them having the best of intentions. We don’t.

    What we fans lack, that they possess, is insider knowledge, which is often witheld from us, and professional expertise, which we cannot expect to have, or we might be the coaches, ADs, and Chancellors. And to paraphrase Self, if you’re at a place like Kansas, you should win.

    So: KU fans must become as knowledgeable, as possible, in what is and is not feasible in net benefits regarding winning rings at KU, before they accept, or reject, that the best is already being done, or not.

    If we don’t, we are letting down THE LEGACY.

    Why can’t we win rings as frequently as other elite majors and recruit sufficient talent to avoid such numbers of transfers?

    What can be done to win more rings and recruit sufficient talent to avoid so many transfers?

    What would the costs and benefits be to KU BASKETBALL of achieving these objectives?

    Should they be borne, or is this the best trade-off probable?

    Rock Chalk!

  • @drgnslayr

    I notice that the revolving doors at the elite majors contracted with Nike and Air Jordan appear to have slowed down some with the shorter stacks, and yet they appear still not to have to rely on as many transfers as KU.

    I still am not sure shoe contracts are the sole driver either.

    There still seems to be some unexplained dynamic involved to me.

    I keep coming back to and wondering about the role of agents, because talk of agents has appeared to suddenly and inexplicably fallen almost entirely off the radar screen of mainstream media.

    But who can say right now?

  • @jaybate-1-0 Hmmmm. Once someone admits that KU would do better with Nike, that solidifies that they, by consequence, would do worse with Adidas. Am I reading that correctly? And if they would do worse with Adidas, does that not essentially help prove your underlying and longstanding theory? Nice play.

    @Texas-Hawk-10 Bingo. Go with Under Armour. It’s the strong future move.

  • Well, I’m with Dslayer

    I have decided I like the perceived underdog status as compared to the Big Nike 3. If one is a U.K. Or NC fan, you get a ton of revolving door players, and let’s face it - only one way to go -down, because you are expected to win or final four pretty much every year. Adidas may make us have to be more resourceful, more creative, and Self has to coach hard to overcome fast twitch one or 2 year recruits who will pile up at the big Nike 3.

    We have become transfer U because Self is looking for that edge. We are innovators, we are clawing and scraping to stay competitive.

    We are unique. We are not a Nike-greased NBA feeding system like the big three. We are Kansas. The trick is to embrace what we have, who we are, and stop thinking that a Nat Championship is The Whole enchilada, and the sole reason for KU basketball. Think of the guys we have had the immense pleasure of seeing for 3 or 4 years… the great games, the energy, the love, the feeling of being part of something special and great. we will win a NC at some point… but enjoy the journey until we do. No one gets to the end of the line here on gods green earth and thinks, looks at all the awards and accomplishments I have seen or done… they realize that’s is about relationships and connection to those people and things they love.

    We are Kansas basketball and it is a beautiful thing

  • @jaybate-1.0 I would say Hell effing yes. I’m loyal to Adidas. Hell, when I go out and buy a pair of running shoes, I will get Adidas before I get Nike and before any other brand. I mean I actually like the way Adidas fit my feet better than the others but still, I like the brand since it is associated with KU. BUT, should KU switch contracts when the current one expires? Yeah, I would bet they get more recruiting “dumptrucks” backing up to AFH. Id bet the house on it.

    Id like to addend this by saying if KU does switch to Nike contract at some point. KU wouldn’t have to solely rely on OAD players like Kentucky and Duke are at the moment. KU would have the lions share of who ever they want, when ever they want. Coach Self is a better coach and mentor that Coach K and Coach Cal. He can keep his same strategy of developing 3 and 4 year players to give experience and depth to his 5 star OAD talent. He wont need to reload with 7-8 mickey D’s talent every season. Give Coach Self a solid supply of 3 or 4 top 10 talent OADs mixed in with solid career players at KU like Frank Mason and Perry Ellis and KU/ Coach Self could easily beat John Woodens streak of National titles in a row. Of course this is my opinion only. I have no data to back that up.

  • Roy (UNC) just won NC with no superstar, and a more blue collar team able to win a grinder, than any team he’s ever had. So much for the Nike revolving door, or call it an ‘outlier’. Also, didnt Louisville win a NC just a few yrs ago? (Adidas school).

    That all being said, Nike/AirJordan would get us more top20 kids, if thats what you want.

    Finally, the difference between Nike’s outfitting KU’s major sports only, vs Adidas outfitting all KU sports teams, is very negligible, compared to the entire KU Athl.Dept budget. That couldnt have been the only reason for the switch. There’s more to the adidas decision than the public reason given.

  • Per Forbes magazine, KU gets $6.74M per year from Adidas. Duke gets $4.25M, UNC $3.55M and UK $3.53M per year from Nike. Does anyone think KU would get more than any of these others schools? There is a reason why KU is with Adidas and not Nike.

  • @HighEliteMajor

    Presently, I am not even sure board rats view an elite major’s rising reliance on transfers from lesser majors and mid majors as a sign of recruiting decline; i.e., of Coach Self not being able to keep a D1 elite major roster full of highly ranked freshman recruits.

    To me it seems patently obvious–Self is crapping out so often now on the OAD, 5-star, and maybe even 4-star recruits that he is finding better quality recruits in transfers from lesser majors and mid majors than he can sign among each year’s high school recruiting classes.

    This situation astonishes me more each season, because Self has had an incredible 12-13 year run, sky high winning percentage, one ring, and induction into the College coaching HOF.

    Self came to KU with a sparkling reputation as a great recruiter, not just a good one. As a young coach at Illinois, Self had signed three terrific players to one Illini team that might have been as good, or better than any three-player cluster he has signed at KU, an elite major, the last 3 seasons after he has acquired wide fame, emulation, and much-deserved respect.

    Think back to Self at Illinois. To my recollection, he did not need to take a transfer from a William and Mary to fill out his Illinois roster to achieve sufficient depth to field an eight man rotation with two credible 9th and 10th men for injury situations.

    I look at the guy on TV, and he still seems vigorous and smooth and at least as charismatic as Roy, Coach K, and Calipari.

    Everyone is copying Self’s Xs and Os now. Calipari, Coach K, and Cal run the flipping weave and chop. Self has worked both ball screens AND 4 out 1 in into the High Low. Self seems the king of the Stretch 4, and, after Josh Jackson, the stretch 3, too. His guard play is state of the art! When was the last time you even read the words “Dribble Drive Offense” or “secondary break” in the media? Kentucky’s Princeton on Steroids and Roy’s running game now looks more like Self’s Carolina Passing offense with wrinkles than anything else.

    And despite all of the above, Self has to fill out his roster at an elite major probably with more transfers from lesser majors and mid majors than Coach K, Cal and Roy combined!

    So I look around and ask: what could possibly trigger this?

    A thought flashed: could it be shoes?

    So: I posed the question the way I did to see what others thought these days.

    It might suggest some possible implications though.

  • @JhwkSqdn

    First, I agree that this past year’s UNC team did not seem to be as stacked with super players as Roy’s other ring teams at UNC.

    And appeared to me that Roy won a ring playing in the way that you describe, but did so with a team and bench brimming with a greater number of more highly recruited players signed as freshman, than KU had, and as many, or more than the other teams in the Final Four had.

    I recall thinking after seeing then play during the season that Roy probably had the best team in terms of physical talent and pieces needed for a champion. But I doubted Roy was still up to coaching them to a ring, given his ill health and the EASYGATE scandal and potential infractions hanging over the program.

    Someone will no doubt correct me, but I don’t recall UNC having started two guards ranked as low as Frank and Devonte were before Self signed them. Frank was a Towson de-commit on the rise. Devonte was on the rise as a recruit, also. But I’m guessing UNC’s guards were ranked more highly as recruits than Frank and Devonte were.

    I also recall UNC had a rotation of legitimate big men that were more highly ranked as recruits than Self’s, unless you want to call Josh Jackson playing out of position at 4 a legitimate big man.

    Finally, I don’t recall UNC resorting to filling needs with three transfers to fill slots after this past season. Maybe they did and I missed it.

  • @jaybate-1.0

    In the end kids still have to want to end up in Kansas.

    We can wow them with facilitates, History, an Elite Program, Passionate Fan-Base etc and in the end it cannot change the location.

    It’s why KU spends a lot of money recruiting because its hard to overcome perception.

    Would Nike help funnel some kids our way? I’m sure they would but is that how Self wants things done?

    Doesn’t he want kids at KU that he wants, not because Nike says they will go there. We all know the “legal” behind the scenes stuff happens on the AAU scene. It’s hard to believe that many of these kids have handlers that influence their decision. I won’t be as naive to think Self is 100% clean and doesn’t get involved but I do think he likes to do things fair so maybe Adidas is the best way? We don’t seem to hear Adidas funneling all its kids KU’s way or Louisville.

    I’d love to pick Self’s brain on what he thinks about the Nike/Adidas/Under Armour debate

  • I know this thread is about recruiting, and Finance, but would the people who created these be designing the KU uniforms?


  • @BeddieKU23

    Please understand that I am not arguing for changing shoe brands yet. Before we advocate for, or against, such a move, we need to understand if:

    a.) changing shoe brands would help us win more rings; and

    b.) would the negatives of changing shoe brands out weigh the positives in pursuing more rings through changing brands?

    I don’t know the answers to these questions yet. Maybe others do, but I don’t yet.

    You cite some possible negatives. I reckon there could be more possible negatives. I’m advocating for trying to figure out what those might be, so as a fan base, however small we are, we can express usefully informed opinions.

  • @jaybate 1.0

    “…since Nike and Air Jordan teams win ALL the rings under the current regime since 08 and dominate the Final Four.” Wasn’t Louisville with adidas when they won it all a few years ago? I don’t remember.

  • @EdwordL


    Maybe the exception proves the rule?

    Isn’t that incredible really?

    Pitino and Self are at least as good, as Roy, and yet Roy gets the dump trucks, so Roy wins more rings.

    Poor adidas. They have had KU, Ville and UCLA and can’t keep any of the three sufficiently stocked up to win a ring, since Louisville!

  • @BeddieKU23 Agreed on location. For a lot of kids, it matters “WTH is kansas?”, while to others it doesnt, and they do look at facilities, tradition, coaching, etc. Playing time right away seems to be a major theme, and that hasnt changed. Or maybe, everybody is promising lots of mpg, so that then goes out of the equation, and the other parameters factor in.

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