The Real Winner

Year Two of the College Football Playoff

Yesterday, the four teams that will fight for the College Football National Championship and after the games last night, there aren’t any surprises. Clemson, Alabama, Michigan State and Oklahoma are the four most deserving teams, they’ve earned their spots and I personally can’t wait for New Year’s Eve to watch both Semifinal games.

The big stories going in are pretty obvious… Does Clemson prove it deserved the #1 Seed? Can Alabama get over the Big Ten hump the second time around? Does Michigan State feel disrespected against Alabama? Will Bob Stoops get revenge against the Tiger team that demolished them in last year’s Russell Athletic Bowl? But there is still one story that I notice that maybe no one else has seen yet.. Who the real winner of the Playoff is?

The Swoosh.

That’s right, forget Ohio State last year, ‘Bama playing in it towers in a row, the Big 12 getting their champion in this time, etc… Nike is the Big Winner and they have been for both of the CFPs that have/will have taken place. Think about it. Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, Ohio State, Clemson, Michigan State and Oklahoma all have one thing in common… They are “Nike schools”! Their on-field uniforms, coaches on the sideline, “official” university apparel, shirts, hats, jackets, gloves, etc… will be covered with that logo we all recognize.

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Within an hour of the “official” announcement of the CFP Final Four, Nike had updated its website to feature and celebrate their partnership with the programs. Their @usnikefootball Twitter account was ready at 12:01 PM EST with posts congratulating the four team, while also featuring the “new” uniforms they will wear during Semifinal Round. Their “Diamond” apparel was available for sale on the Nike website immediately after, featuring an “Own the Playoff” slogan for all four school.

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The logo will be featured on the sideline throughout both of the Orange and Cotton Bowl broadcasts, as well as the entire month of December filled with pre-game analysis that ESPN, Fox Sports, NBCSN, TSN, etc… will discuss on their broadcasts.

For the second straight year, we are seeing how far behind Nike’s competitors are in the College Football landscape. Heck, there is only one team within the New Year’s Six Bowls that is not a Nike affiliate, Notre Dame, representing Under Armour in the Fiesta Bowl. The highest representative from adidas, in fact their only representative in the Top 25, is Michigan at Number 14. Next year, they won’t even be an adidas school as they will return to the Nike banner in 2016!

Yes, Nike will be at the forefront of all college football fans’ minds for the next month. Starting on Saturday with the presentation of the Heisman Trophy to either Derrick Henry, Deshaun Watson or Christian McCaffrey… Huh, did you noticed that all three have something in common?

Maybe take a look at their gloves, shoes and left shoulder pads in their highlight packages that will be played throughout the week…

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