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Is UCLA’s affiliation with Adidas helping them out?

(Kirby Lee | USA TODAY Sports)

(Kirby Lee | USA TODAY Sports)

Move over Nike and Under Armor, because UCLA has something better than you. Adidas? Two five-star basketball recruits, power forward Carlton Bragg and small forward Jaylen Brown, both said this weekend at the Adidas Nations camp in California that the Bruins’ association with the company is a major bonus for the school.

In the interview, Brown said it was less about the clothes and more about how the company treated them.

“Adidas very much looks out. They take care of me and my team and they talk to me about things. They make me feel welcome. I know a lot of the reps and a lot of the head guys. Definitely going to an adidas school, I definitely feel a lot more welcome and a lot more comfortable with that other than a Nike or Under Armour side just because I’m more comfortable with adidas. I’ve been playing on the circuit for two or three years now so it’s definitely good.”

Brown, who made his unofficial visit to UCLA today, has narrowed his list down to Georgia, Kansas, Kentucky, UCLA and Alabama and plans on committing soon. Several non-adidas teams are in his top school list. Bragg has less to say when asked why UCLA was so high on his list, but adidas was one point he made.

“They’re adidas. It’s either adidas or Nike for me, and I’ve been with adidas all my life.”

It is shocking to think a player could make a commitment based solely on what type of affiliation they have with a shoe company, especially since 247 sports says UCLA is one of the lowest schools on Bragg’s list. Kansas and Kentucky are listed as his top schools, and only one of those schools is affiliated with Adidas.

I do have to wonder what they would have to say about Nike or Under Armor at one of their events.




Article written by Courtney Hessler

Ashley Judd is my spirit animal. Follow me on twitter at: @Hessler_KSR

15 Comments for Is UCLA’s affiliation with Adidas helping them out?

  1. All day I dream
    6:22 pm August 3, 2014 Permalink

    Adidas SUCKS!!!!!!!

    6:41 pm August 3, 2014 Permalink

    Who cares what them hippies out on the left coast is doin

  3. AreYouForReal?
    6:45 pm August 3, 2014 Permalink

    UK has taken full advantage of their affiliation w/ nike for many years. Why would anyone be surprised to hear other companies are doing the same. Or did you think that these kids just think Lexington KY is just that awesome?

    • So
      7:56 pm August 3, 2014 Permalink

      So you are implying that a player only comes to UK because it is a Nike School and the player has been associated with Nike before? There may be other reasons such as the coach, the facilities, the history, yes?

  4. 9 is fine
    7:35 pm August 3, 2014 Permalink

    I know it’s just the way the game is now a days, but I think it’s incredibly pathetic that this has become an important factor for a kid deciding where they want to go to school. It’s difficult to imagine that some families and cultures raise their children to put such importance on materialistic ideals. Just another piece of evidence of a general decline in our society.

    • Buzz Killington
      8:00 pm August 3, 2014 Permalink

      Holy shit.

  5. Bobbum man
    7:55 pm August 3, 2014 Permalink

    Adidas if you want to get injured… Drose, Paul George, Kevin ware, RGIII, hope they got a good trainer as well

  6. Han
    8:20 pm August 3, 2014 Permalink

    First, let’s all recognize that Nike and Under Armor and anyone else in that biz do the same things Adidas does.

    Second, can we all agree that the way these companies interact with AAU teams and influence college programs and athletes should probably be an NCAA violation? It certainly seems like it when we consider the things that are violations. Why would a shoe company’s reps interact with anyone other than the equipment personnel, maybe coaches if there’s an endorsement? They can get any measurements that way, just as they can find out if the players like the equipment that way. Do Pepsi or Papa Johns reps get to know athletes and make them feel comfortable at schools that have deals with those companies?

    The fact that an amateur feels welcomed by representatives of a clothing company, feels like they look out for him more, well, how is that much different from directly sponsoring an athlete or from being a booster for a program? It sounds like Adidas reps (and reps for other companies) are being boosters for programs that have deals with them. They have an interest in those schools doing well because it reflects well on their product and increases its visibility and also increases possible future deals. They also have an interest in athletes like their products and signing endorsement deals. That would then suggest they should not be allowed to interact with players in the same way that agents and runners, even when not providing any actual benefits, aren’t technically allowed to get in the ears of players. Even if you don’t give them anything today, you’re making it clear that the company would really take care of them as soon as it’s allowed. In other words, Adidas is recruiting AAU and college players for future endorsement deals.

    How can the NCAA allow there to be any contact with any of the kids who are going to college? I know that’s not really any high school or AAU program’s problem to try to enforce, any more than it would be the NBA’s issue, but if the the programs want their players to be in the NCAA, it seems like it should be an amateurism issue, like with Agents.

    At the very least, there should be articles comparing Adidas and Nike reps to WWW.

    • CatsBalls
      9:56 pm August 3, 2014 Permalink

      You do realize that if they decided these are violations, we’d probably be vacating our 2012 title.

    • BirdNutz
      12:19 am August 4, 2014 Permalink

      ^^^ And UofL’s 2013 title, too. “Third biggest endorsement deal”. I’m sure nothing shady has resulted from that… If I get what you’re implying.

    • Han
      12:45 pm August 4, 2014 Permalink

      Catsballs, I don’t think they should try to retroactively make it a violation (wouldn’t put it past the NCAA to do so with UK only, claiming they can only investigate so many reports). And as I included Nike and Under Armour, I’m saying I know this goes on everywhere. I’ve never seen an article before where a player so blatantly talks about interacting with shoe reps (not saying the articles aren’t out there — probably bunches of them when AAU stars get interviewed and asked about Adidas schools vs Nike vs whatever). My point is that it seems really hypocritical for this to be okay and so many other things get players and programs in trouble.

      Sports gear/apparel companies sign endorsement deals with athletes to represent and wear their brands. That alone should give the NCAA reason to forbid them from interacting with “amateur” “student” athletes. The quotes are because we know the NCAA is full of crap and all about money. Further, those companies should qualify as boosters of the schools they have deals with. It only helps them if high-profile athletes go to those schools and wear their gear on tv, maybe post pictures on twitter showing off their new unis, etc. The NCAA has no say in AAU, but if an AAU team is sponsored by a company like that, and a player goes to a school with a deal with that company, and the player then signs an endorsement deal with the company when they go pro, how are we to believe there was never any “encouragement” or recruiting done by the company? Schools sign deals with Nike and Adidas and Under Armour not just because it’s good gear, but because kids know it and want to wear it. And that’s mostly because stars in the pros wear it.

      It’s still a joke how involved Jordan, his shoes, and the Jordan Brand Classic are with high school players, all while also having a deal with UNC. That surely never improperly influences players to attend there. It’s the way things are, but it’s yet another example of how ridiculously uneven the NCAA rules interpretations are.

  7. UKBlue
    8:30 pm August 3, 2014 Permalink

    Besides soccer players outside the US, real teams don’t wear Adidas.

    • RUPPS_rhetoric
      9:53 pm August 3, 2014 Permalink

      Entire NBA have Adidas.

  8. sylvar
    1:33 am August 4, 2014 Permalink

    I half expected to see Mark Maggard listed as the author of this post. Shoe affiliation always was his mantra.

  9. Big Blue Coming At You
    9:56 am August 4, 2014 Permalink

    “They take care of me and my team and they talk to me about things.”

    Anyone else find that quote to be a bit shady? Sponsorship is just another way to pay these kids.