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Notre Dame switching from adidas to Under Armour

Notre Dame Under Armour

Notre Dame is switching equipment brands from adidas to Under Armour for all its sports teams, according to a report.

The Fighting Irish decided to shop around after its 10-year deal with adidas expired, and the change will happen at the end of the school year, according to ESPN’s Darren Rovell.

Notre Dame first struck a deal with adidas in 1997. The sides reached a 10-year extension in 2005 that expires this school year. Notre Dame apparently used to be adidas’ top program, but that changed when they signed Michigan in 2008.

Adding Notre Dame is a huge move for Under Armour, which already outfits Auburn, Hawaii, Maryland, Texas Tech, Boston College, Utah, Northwestern, St. John’s, South Florida and South Carolina, among other colleges.

Though they are a relative newcomer in the sports apparel industry, Under Armour has already gained a huge market share and become a major player. Founded in 1996, the company is publicly traded and reported revenues of $1.83 billion in 2012.

Kevin Ware wears pink Nike foamposites; Louisville is Adidas school

Kevin Ware Nike Foamposite

Louisville may have done Kevin Ware wrong by attempting to profit off his broken leg while he couldn’t get a cut of the proceeds, and it looks like the sophomore guard got them back (intentionally or not).

Ware, on crutches, came out of Louisville’s tunnel inside the Georgia Dome to join his team for the national championship game Monday. He was shown wearing his jersey, sweat pants, and pink Nike Foamposite shoes.

Just when Adidas was catching a huge break by having two of its schools play against each other in the national championship game, Ware got the swoosh a moment of unexpected air time on TV.

H/T CJ Zero

Adidas pulls Kevin Ware T-shirts

Kevin-Ware-Louisville-shirts

Adidas has stopped selling controversial T-shirts that they began manufacturing following Kevin Ware’s gruesome leg broken leg injury suffered last weekend, USA Today reports.

The shirts were being sold on the Louisville athletic website for $24.99. The shirts said “Rise to the occasion” on the front, and had the number five on the back. Ware’s No. 5 was not only on the back, but it was also in the place of the “S” in rise.

Adidas received plenty of backlash for attempting to profit off a player’s injury while that athlete is unable to receive any of the proceeds due to NCAA rules.

Dan Wetzel at Yahoo! Sports puts that into context of the corrupt NCAA. He also points out that Adidas likely pulled the shirt not because of the moral dilemma, but because it is illegal; schools are not allowed to profit directly off a player, according to NCAA rules.

How do they get away with selling jerseys and shirts with a player’s number? Schools argue that numerous players have worn the number throughout the years.

Ware, meanwhile, has received plenty of support and notoriety since the injury. He received phone calls from Dwight Howard and Charles Barkley among others, and he did the Top 10 on Letterman Thursday.

Adidas looking to profit off Kevin Ware injury with Final Four T-shirts? (Picture)

Kevin-Ware-Louisville-shirts

The topic of sports apparel companies making a profit by using Divison-1 athletes to sell products has been heavily debated over the years. Under no circumstances are college athletes allowed to be paid or receive “improper benefits,” yet their jersey numbers are plastered all over merchandise that is constantly flying off the shelves. It appears Louisville sophomore Kevin Ware is no exception.

Ware’s incredibly gruesome leg injury has been the talk of the nation since the Cardinals defeated Duke in the Elite 8 on Sunday evening. The team has decided to honor him with these warmup jerseys at the Final Four, and it looks like Adidas has decided to pay tribute to Ware by profiting from his injury with the T-shirt you see above. You can pre-order your very own “Ri5e to the Occasion” shirt today, which is currently selling for $24.99 on the Louisville athletic website.

When contacted by Larry Brown Sports, an employee from Louisville’s online apparel shop said that there has been no indication that proceeds from the shirt are going to support medical bills or any type of charity. The employee did mention that the shirts were not created “internally” and had come directly from Adidas.

Paying these young men and women would be insane, but profiting off someone’s horribly broken leg is great business.

UPDATE: A Louisville spokesperson told WDRB the school “proactively decided to waive any traditional licensing royalties revenue connected to the No. 5 graphic to be worn by the team on the court. . . . The shirt was created as a respectful tribute to honor Kevin within NCAA trademark apparel parameters, and allow fans to rally around the team. Because of that, adidas is contributing a portion of every sell to the university’s scholarship fund.”

Derrick Rose, adidas reportedly agree to 2nd-richest shoe deal in history

There are the one-percenters, and then there’s Derrick Rose, who is now probably part of the 0.5 percent after the absurd shoe deal he reportedly signed with adidas on Friday.

According to Yahoo! Sports, the reigning NBA MVP reportedly inked a 13-year, $185 million endorsement deal with the sports apparel giant. Additional incentives supposedly could push the deal beyond the $200 million mark. Rose, whose signature shoe is the “adiZero Rose,” has been with adidas since entering the league in 2008 (you may have seen some of his overhyped commercials).

The agreement is the second-biggest shoe deal in history, so says CNBC’s Darren Rovell, right behind, you guessed it, Michael Jordan’s arrangement with Nike. (And with a deal so big, it’s no wonder why adidas allegedly wants to have a say in where its superstars play.)

Just on the shoe deal alone, Rose, 23, is pretty much set for life. But prior to this season, he also signed a five-year, $94.8 million extension with the Bulls, otherwise known as 0.51 adidas contracts. All said, that’s upwards of $280 million destined for Rose’s bank account.

For those of you keeping score at home, Rose isn’t rich; He’s stinkin’ rich. Feel free to curl up in a corner and weep.

Photo credit: Derick E. Hingle, US Presswire

John Paxson: ‘Marketing’ (aka Adidas) Keeping Dwight Howard from Chicago Bulls

Earlier this week, we shared a report that said Adidas may want to keep Dwight Howard from joining the Chicago Bulls because they want to keep their star athletes (Derrick Rose is the other) in separate markets. That’s probably why you didn’t see the Bulls on Dwight’s list of teams where he would like to be traded.

Bulls VP of Basketball Operations John Paxson essentially confirmed the report during an appearance on The Waddle & Silvy Show Wednesday.

“We don’t want to talk about other teams’ players, but obviously there are situations out there that you know that you have to look at,” Paxson said when asked about exploring trade options for Dwight. “The other part of it is you hope those types of players want to come here. Sometimes, at least what you hear from agents, I don’t think it has anything to do with basketball. It has more to do with marketing and whatever it is. Those are the things you don’t have under control when the agent gets involved and doesn’t even want to talk to you. All you do is keep trying, and we certainly will.”

That’s pretty weak, if you ask me. I really hope that’s not the case. Why wouldn’t Dwight want to go to a big market like Chicago and play with Derrick Rose? Dwight wants to team with Deron Williams or Chris Paul, but not Rose? The Adidas thing explains it, and that sucks.

Chest bump Eye on Basketball

You can listen to the entire interview here.

Adidas May Want to Keep Dwight Howard from Chicago

Dwight Howard has made it clear he wants out of Orlando. The All-Pro center has asked for a trade to one of three teams: the Lakers, Mavericks, or Nets. One GM doesn’t think Orlando is interested in what the Lakers can offer, and the Nets’ trade chip, Brook Lopez, is injured. One would figure that a team like the Bulls would be a desirable landing spot for Dwight. Chicago also has attractive assets for a trade. So why isn’t he interested in joining reigning MVP Derrick Rose in Chicago? It may be because Howard’s primary sponsor, Adidas, wants to keep its two biggest NBA stars in separate markets.

From Yahoo! Sports:

Adidas has two franchise endorsers: Derrick Rose and Howard. Rose signed a $94 million extension with the Bulls, and sources say Adidas is working on a lifetime shoe deal for him now.

And as one high-ranking sneaker executive says, “Adidas simply cannot have its two signature players on the same team in the same market. … Derrick is the face of that market, owns that market, and Adidas can’t possibly have maximum bang for its buck with Dwight there.

“It serves Adidas no purpose. They need them as rivals in competing markets.”

The reasoning may sound silly, but it’s a reality. Brands like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour influence where recruits go to school, and where coaches decided to coach. It’s not far fetched to think they want to keep their starts in separate markets.

I don’t know if that’s the reason Dwight isn’t interested in playing for the Bulls, but it’s a plausible factor. It’s just too bad we’re going to see so many crying fans when Dwight leaves Orlando, which could come sooner rather than later.

H/T Eye on Basketball