Competitive Edge - Sports & Entertainment Marketing News

What Fans Should Know About Sneakers Ahead of March Madness


March Madness Sneaker Explainer: What college basketball fans need to know about sneakers this year.

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Discussion Questions:

  1. What is sponsorship?
  2. Why do businesses and brands sponsor sports teams?
  3. Why do footwear brands sponsor college basketball programs?
  4. Why might they sign college basketball players to NIL deals?
  5. According to NCAA rules, players must wear the footwear brand associated with the program’s sponsor during games. How might that be a problem for a brand signing an individual player (like Reebok signing Angel Reese) who plays for a team sponsored by a competitor (Reese plays for LSU, who is sponsored by Nike)?
  6. Last year, South Carolina guard Aliyah Boston was the face of a national Under Armour advertising campaign as part of a NIL deal. However, when she joined the WNBA as a professional this summer, she signed a deal with adidas. Do you think Under Armour regrets that marketing decision? Why or why not?
  7. What is a signature sneaker?
  8. Why do you think footwear brands sign deals with individual players and create signature sneakers?
  9. According to this story, do any college players have a signature sneaker?
  10. Why do you think that might be?
  11. What are “Mamba Programs” and why is the NCAA tournament important to that program?
  12. What is a “player-exclusive colorway”, and why do you think those sneakers are not typically available for sale to the general public?
  13. What is a sneaker collaboration?
  14. Why do you think collaborations are so popular?
  15. Think about your favorite college basketball player or team. What footwear brand do they wear? How might that brand benefit from the player or team wearing those sneakers?
Chris Lindauer
After working for nearly a decade in professional sports, Chris Lindauer, formed Sports Career Consulting to provide unique sports business education opportunities in and out of the classroom. In the eighteen years (and counting) that followed, Chris has inspired thousands of students to pursue their passions and explore the career of their dreams. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, two teenage daughters and their dog.


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