Kicks Analysis 2015
Breaking down the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament solely based on kicks.
- Kicks Analysis 2014 #0: The First Four I don’t normally start my annual Kicks Analysis this early, but Yoda808 called me out on it, so here we go… Round 1 of the 2015 NCAA Tournament officially starts with the “First Four” as eight teams vie to enter the Round of 64. Here are the eight teams along with their shoe sponsorships. Manhattan Jaspers – Under Armour Hampton Pirates – Nike BYU Cougars – Nike (based on jerseys) Ole Miss Rebels – Under Armour North Florida Ospreys – Nike (based on jerseys) Robert Morris Colonials – Nike Boise State Broncos – Nike Dayton Flyers – Nike (based on jerseys) So that’s six for Nike, two for Under Armour, and surprisingly zero for Adidas. Will the First Four field all Nike swooshes? Probably doesn’t matter since I doubt any of the First Four will make it past the Round of 64. While I couldn’t find pictures of all the team’s kicks, I must say that Robert Morris got ...
- Kicks Analysis 2015 #1: Shoe Sponsorship Nike picked up the pace in 2015 with a 75% representation of the teams making the Big Dance. 48 of the 64 teams (not counting the First Four) don the swoosh. Adidas had a significant lost from 2014, going down seven teams from 18 to 11 in 2015. Who gained from Adidas’s losses? Up and comer Under Armour. From a single team last year, UA sponsors five teams in the tournament, translating to 8%. UA has a good showing with Maryland, Notre Dame, St. Johns, Utah, and S.F. Austin. This year saw no representation from Reebok, And1, Converse, or New Balance.
- Kicks Analysis 2015 #2: Conference Sponsorships Like 2014, the Big 12 is well represented with seven teams in the 2015 tournament. But this year, the Big Ten tied the 12 with seven teams as well. The Atlantic 10 halved their conference representation going from six to three while the Pac-12 lost a deuce with four teams (but represented by all three kicks companies). The Big West was bound to be represented by Adidas with either UC Irvine or UH. But with UCI’s Big West tournament win, they got the bid with stripped big man, Mamadou Ndiaye.
- Kicks Analysis 2015 #2a: Seed Sponsorship In 2015, while Nike is worn by 75% of the participants, the swoosh doesn’t have a lock on the top five seeded teams. Only starting from the sixth ranked teams is Nike worn by all represented teams (Providence, SMU, Xavier, and Butler). Interestingly enough, Under Armour has efficiently picked its spots. With its five teams, UA has three teams ranked fifth or better. That would be Notre Dame (#3), Maryland (#4), and Utah (#5). The other UA teams are St. Johns (#9) and S.F. Austin (#12), the sole UA team from the 2014 tournament. It’s no wonder Under Armour stands to make $83M if its teams do well. It’s too bad Utah and S.F. Austin went head to head in the Round of 64. Adidas teams are well dispersed with no more than two teams in each seed. Gotta like the hyper green Curry Ones worn by S.F. Austin.
- Kicks Analysis 2015 #3: Sweet 16 The sweet, sweet sixteen of ’15 looks like this: Kentucky (Nike) Purdue (Nike) Notre Dame (Under Armour) Wichita St. (Nike) Wisconsin (Adidas) North Carolina (Nike) Xavier (Nike) Arizona (Nike) Duke (Nike) Utah (Under Armour) UCLA (Adidas) Gonzaga (Nike) N.C. State (Adidas) Louisville (Adidas) Oklahoma (Nike) Michigan St. (Nike) Nike commands 62.5% (10 out of 16) of the field, Adidas has 25% (4 out of 16), and Under Armour is still holding on with two teams in the Sweet 16 (12.5%). How does this compare with the start of the tournament? Nike lost ground going from a 75% showing down to 62.5% so that means movement for Adidas and UA. Adidas upped their numbers going from 17% to 25% and Under Armour getting a slight bump from 8% to 12.5%.
- Kicks Analysis 2015 #2b: Regional Sponsorships There’s nothing really telling about the kicks distribution in the regions of the 2015 tournament. See for yourself. Nothing eye popping, right? While scanning images from the early round games, there weren’t true team shoes represented where the entire team wore the same shoe model. In general, players just wore whatever sponsored shoes matched their personal and playing styles. These were the team exceptions to the individual norm – Oregon and UAB. Being so close to Nike HQ and the alma mater of Phil Knight, Oregon gets the best custom kicks, and the Ducks were decked out in KD7. While UAB didn’t quite have the same team shoe, they did collectively wear purposely mismatched Nikes. Throughout the entire season, the Blazers have worn “reversed” kicks to raise awareness and funds for pediatric cancer.
- Kicks Analysis 2015 #4: Shoes of Champions I already commented on the dearth of team shoes this year. Rather, players are wearing shoes matching their playing style and fashion sense. Although the one truism is that Air Jordan kicks are still marquee. You’ll see some Kobes, KDs, and surprisingly even fewer LeBrons. The closest team shoe I’ve noticed is the Nike Zoom Hyperrev 2015. Arizona Wildcats Kobe X player exclusives Texas Hyperrevs Surrounded by Air Jordans Harvard Hyperrevs Nike Kyrie 1 behind UAB’s mismatched kicks Mismatched Nike Zoom Run the One and LeBron Soldiers Cheery swooshes Air Jordan 11 Legend Blue
- Kicks Analysis 2015 #5: Elite 8 From 64 teams down to the Elite 8, and all three shoe brands are still in the game. Nike has five of the eight (62.5%), Adidas has two teams (25%), and Under Armour sole representation (12.5%) is thanks to the strong play of Notre Dame. Seed, Team, Shoe 1, Kentucky, Nike 3, Notre Dame, Under Armour 1, Wisconsin, Adidas 2, Arizona, Nike 1, Duke, Nike 2, Gonzaga, Nike 4, Louisville, Adidas 7, Michigan St., Nike
- Kicks Analysis 2015 #6: The Final Four Seeding has stabilized with the Final Four of Duke, Wisconsin, Kentucky, and Michigan St. The Blue Devils, the Badgers, and the Wildcats are all top seeds while the seventh-seeded Spartans kept on marching. This marks the end of Under Armour’s excellent run with the downfall of the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. That’s three Nike teams, Duke, Kentucky, and Michigan St. and one Adidas-wearing Wisconsin team left.
- Kicks Analysis 2015 #7: The Finals Why do I bother with this Kicks Analysis? Throw out the numbers and just play the game and keep playing even if the shot clock expires! That’s why Adidas is even with Nike going into the 2015 NCAA Tournament Finals where Duke plays Wisconsin. Nike versus Adidas. Fifty fifty chance. Adidas’ representation went like this: Round of 64: 17% Round of 32: 19% Sweet 16: 25% Elite 8: 25% Final Four: 25% Finals: 50% While I’m still not a fan of the Adidas styling, if I had to jump on the three-stripped bandwagon, I would wear the new-ish D Lillard 1.
- Kicks Analysis 2015 #8: The Champ Notch another one for Team Swoosh. With Duke’s 68 to 63 victory over Wisconsin, a team wearing Nike shoes has now won 14 of the last 17 NCAA men’s basketball tournaments. That’s an impressive 82% winning percentage dating back to 1999. 1999 Connecticut (Nike) 2000 Michigan State (Reebok Answers) 2001 Duke (Nike) 2002 Maryland (Nike Shox Stunners) 2003 Syracuse (Nike Shox) 2004 Connecticut (Nike Lebron Zoom Generation and Air Force Operates) 2005 North Carolina (Nike Retro Jordan X) 2006 Florida (Nike) 2007 Florida (Nike) 2008 Kansas (Adidas) 2009 North Carolina (Nike) 2010 Duke (Nike) 2011 Connecticut (Nike) 2012 Kentucky (Nike) 2013 Louisville (Adidas) 2014 Connecticut (Nike Kobe 8 or Venomenon) 2015 Duke (Nike) The Blue Devils wore all kinds of Nikes on the night of the Finals. I spy the 2015 Hyperrev, a Kyrie 1, and most impressively, a custom “universe” Lebron 10 on the feet of guard Quinn Cook. So much for my sentiment about not seeing LeBrons in the tournament. https://twitter.com/nicekicks/status/576615482796576769 Congratulations to Duke for yet another championship, ...
- Kicks Analysis 2015 Kicks Analysis 2015 Breaking down the 2015 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament solely based on kicks.
- Kicks Analysis 2016 #2b: Regional Sponsorships From Under Armour’s point of view, they were represented in every region with the most appearing in the South. Unfortuanately for UA, the pairings didn’t work out so well in their favor. Taking Nike’s numbers out of the equation for now, Adidas teams only faced each other two times (Texas A&M vs Green Bay and Indiana vs Chattanooga). However, UA teams had three match-ups where one of their own was elimated. These are Maryland vs South Dakota St., Maryland vs Hawaii, and Notre Dame vs S.F. Austin. These head-to-head games decimated UA’s small numbers to begin with.