Must Be The Shoes

With the announcement by the NCAA selection committee of the 68 schools making the NCAA Tournament, the annual parlor game of which teams are wearing what shoes begins again.

Nike again captured the lion’s share of NCAA Tournament teams’ footwear, outfitting 44 of the 68 schools.  This number is down, though, compared to last year’s tournament, when 51 of those squads wore the swoosh.  Rounding out teams, Adidas has 14 teams in its footwear and Under Armour has 10.  Three of the four #1 seeds wear Nike (or Jordan brand) and all four of the #2 seeds wear them as well.

Experts have predicted larger gains by both Adidas and Under Armour in the collegiate market as UA’s growth has continued exponentially and Adidas has undergone a marketing make-over, pleading among other endeavors, to sign over 500 new athletes alone to the brand.

However, with Nike’s market cap of over $105 billion, its ability to fight off its smaller rivals cannot be overestimated.  Adidas ($21 billion market cap) and Under Armour ($18 billion).  Nike projects almost $33 billion in revenue for 2016 while Under Armour estimates just under $5 billion on its end, for example.

Does this mean a continued dominance by Nike in teams represented at the tourney each year?  No one could have predicted Steph Curry’s rise and dominance in the NBA the past 2 years, all done in Under Armour shoes after Nike failed to resign him.  Perhaps we could see the same in March Madness in years to come.