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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Team USA arranges Olympic team photo to block Nike rivals

Team USA 2016

Nike is the official sponsor of the Olympic team, so it’s no surprise that they want to obscure any ties some of the Team USA athletes have to rival companies. For that reason, they arranged the Team USA basketball photo in a specific way to block its competitors from being seen.

As Nick DePaula pointed out, Team USA basketball’s photo was set up so that Harrison Barnes and Kyle Lowry, who are sponsored by adidas, had their shoes blocked. Similarly, Klay Thompson, who is sponsored by Antas, was in the back so his shoes were less visible:

DeMar DeRozan’s foot right in front of Barnes’ (second from left) is well-placed. Jimmy Butler (second from left on bottom row) is crouched in a position to block both Barnes and Lowry. Meanwhile, Carmelo Anthony and DeAndre Jordan are placed to block Thompson (third from right in back row).

This practice of blocking Nike rivals in the team photo is nothing new.

They also did it in 2008 with adidas endorser Dwight Howard:

We know Nike is serious about their business, and this is evidence of it. Carefully orchestrated photos like this also lead to some saying players like Candace Parker are left off the Olympic team because they’re not Nike athletes.

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