The 2017 NFL Combine is not just athletes competing. Nike won Saturday’s competition. They signed University of Washington Alum. Zoom⚡️ Wide receiver John Ross III to a contract
University of Washington wide receiver John Ross III is fast. Everyone knew that, long before the NFL Combine. He is self-proclaimed as part of Alum. Zoom⚡️, and then he went out and proved it to the world.
If you are going to go around as Alum. Zoom⚡️, you had better be the fastest athlete in the competition.
He is. In fact, he was so fast that he pulled up in the last ten yards of his run limping from cramps and still set an NFL combine record for speed.
The audience was wow’d. NFL scouts and pundits jammed the social media outlets to get the news out. Yes, John Ross is fast.
But there is a sneaker company whose speed rivals that of John Ross. And no, it turned out NOT to be the island folks. You see, Addidas promised to give an island to the NFL Draft prospect who broke the 4.24 40-yard dash record set by Chris Johnson.
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Read The Small Print
Addidas said no to Ross. You see, there were stipulations. According to the small print on the Addidas official website:
"“If at the NFL Scouting Combine, Athlete, who is a Designated Athlete: (1) wears adidas Shoes during the 40 Yard Dash; (2) based on NFL official times, breaks the Official Record (including any record set during the NFL Scouting Combine by someone other than Athlete) for the fastest time of any position during the 40 Yard Dash, and (3) Athlete enters into an Endorsement Agreement with adidas before the start of the 2017/2018 NFL regular season, then adidas agrees to provide to Athlete an island (selected by adidas) that has a maximum value of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000) (the “Island”).”"
On one hand, John Ross did not wear the correct shoes. On the other hand, that fumble of advertisement misjudgement was quickly scooped up by the other guys, Nike. And in short work, Nike had signed the record breaker to a Nike Contract.
Put Your Best Foot Forward
Athletic footwear is highly competitive folks. In the business of selling athletic shoes (sneakers in my day), it’s a battle to sign any athlete. Basketball, football, track and field, runners, and tennis to name a few. The market for each dictates the value to the professional athletes contract.
John Ross is a Nike guy now. He joins the ranks of Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Kevin Durant, Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Eli Manning, and Marshawn Lynch. That’s pretty good company, particularly for a young man who has yet to be selected by an NFL Team.
It’s also a clear indication of the respect already bestowed to this young man by the NFL community. Nike does not sign fly-by-night athletes.
Congratulations to Nike and to John Ross III. I believe this bodes well for both company and to athlete.