Would Adidas Be Affected If Robert Griffin III Is Traded?

The Washington Redskins traded four draft picks over three years to the St. Louis Rams in the 2012 NFL Draft to move up and select Robert Griffin III. On Monday, the team named Kirk Cousins, its fourth-round selection in the same draft, as the starter for the season, leaving Griffin’s place on the team in jeopardy.

Multiple reports have surfaced that Griffin is on the trading block, with the team looking to bring his era to an end, though Redskins coach Jay Gruden has stated that Griffin will still be on the team’s roster when the regular season arrives.

Griffin takes the field in Adidas, a brand he signed with on Feb. 21, 2012. The Germany-based athletic brand quickly had the Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback out of Baylor University wearing its product, starting with the Adizero 5-Star Mid cleat.

If Griffin is traded, will Adidas sales take a hit? According to Matt Powell, a sports-industry analyst at The NPD Group, Adidas needn’t be concerned.

“Football players have minimal direct impact on footwear sales, [and] sales of football footwear are quite small,” he said. “Most football shoes are sold to middle and high school athletes. And football-player contracts are not big money, like basketball,” Powell added. “Brands view these contracts more as marketing exposure than as sales catalysts.”

For Griffin, a trade may have both positive and negative effects on his marketability. Powell said the trades of marquee athletes always cause a bump in jersey sales, but it would confirm Griffin’s declining popularity due to his documented issues with management and poor play on the field.

During his rookie season, Griffin’s jersey outsold all others, according to an April 9, 2013 report from ESPN, and went on to be the best-selling jersey in a fiscal year in NFL history.

Kirk Cousins Robert Griffin III
Kirk Cousins (left) will start instead of Robert Griffin III (right) for the Washington Redskins when the 2015-16 NFL season kicks off.
CREDIT: Courtesy of Getty Images

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