There’s no argument over who is #1 in the world of footwear and apparel in college basketball. That spot obviously still goes to Nike. But now more than ever, it appears adidas is losing their grasp on the second place position, as Under Armour continues to gain more ground in the basketball world. adidas has held their place behind Nike in NCAA basketball almost by default for years now, but that’s all changing as the still relatively new brand Under Armour, with the help of two-time MVP Steph Curry’s overwhelming popularity, is certainly giving the Three Stripes a run for their money.
Under Armour vs. adidas in college hoops was a hot topic in a recent CBS Sports poll of over 110 Division 1 basketball coaches, who were anonymously asked to share their opinion on which brand has a better hold in the current NCAA landscape. The poll (that included coaches at various schools sponsored by Nike, adidas, and Under Armour) found that a surprising 76% believed Under Armour now holds the #2 spot. The anonymous quotes from coaches who felt Under Armour has overtaken adidas include:
-“To me, Nike is running away with the No. 1 spot. Not even close. The No. 2 spot, I think, is Under Armour — and they’re leaving adidas behind. Adidas consistently puts out bad-looking gear and uniforms. The best thing they have going for them is the Yeezy shoe line, but I hear that it’s still almost impossible for some of the big-name adidas sponsored schools to get the shoes. I’d be pissed if we were sponsored by adidas.”
-“Not even close: Under Armour! They are actually nipping on the heels of Nike. When you look at which way prospects are trending AAU-wise, the popularity of Steph Curry and the number of universities that are switching to Under Armour, it’s hard to say anyone else is second.”
-“Under Armour. Not even close. Run a big-time event in a big-time facility in Atlanta during July. AAU programs and high school programs all over the country wearing Under Armour. They are locking up major football and basketball programs and in many cases entire athletic programs. The Steph Curry factor helps as well. I think adidas is a distant third now.”
Of course, not all opinions have been swayed yet. Although quite a minority, 24% percent of the coaches polled still think adidas holds the #2 spot. But many of them feel Under Armour isn’t far behind:
-“Under Armour has made great strides in the past five years, however I think adidas (especially with signing the NBA rookies they have) will remain number two for a while. Outside of Curry’s influence (which is great), UA just doesn’t have the appeal that the other two do with kids”.
-“Adidas. Proof is in the signing of six of the top 10 picks in the NBA Draft this year. Brand is still a lot stronger/more respected in the states even though Under Armour has covered ground.”
-“Still adidas in my opinion, but Under Armor is close to taking over the No. 2 spot.
Even without the opinions of the coaches, it’s clear to see that the tides are shifting in the world of college hoops. The upstart Under Armour has certainly moved in on adidas’ territory in college basketball, but for now, adidas still seems to be firmly planted in the #2 spot behind Nike at the NBA level with their impressive roster of athletes and the ever-growing popularity of Boost cushioning technology. But will the shift in college soon be reflected in the NBA?
Source: CBS Sports