Which Athletic Brand Will Dominate During College Bowl Season?

The NCAA football bowl games kick off next weekend, and it’s certain that the teams will be giving their all to secure that last mark in the win column before the end of the season.

But one athletic player can already claim victory.

Footwear News combed through the schedule for the 2015/16 bowl games — yes, all 41 of them — to see which sporting-goods label will have the most opportunities for exposure.

By far, Nike won out, with 49 sponsored teams competing — or about 60 percent of the total pool. Adidas came in a distant second, with 17 sponsored teams, followed by Under Armour, with 11, and Russell Athletic, with five.

Nike’s best chance to shine will be during the second College Football Playoffs, for which the brand is the official outfitter.

2015 College Football Championship
Last season’s College Football Playoffs championship game, between Oregon and Ohio State.
CREDIT: Getty Images.

Earlier this week, Nike unveiled the special uniforms for the four playoff teams: Clemson and Oklahoma, competing in the Capital One Orange Bowl; and Alabama and Michigan State, facing off in the Goodyear Cotton Bowl. The brand is providing them with spiffy new jerseys, pants and gloves, as well as its new Vapor Untouchable II football cleats, which were developed using 3D printing and are Nike’s lightest ever, weighing just 9.5 ounces.

The athletic powerhouse has so many teams competing in bowl games, in fact, that its teams will often face each other.

Including the Orange Bowl and Cotton Bowl — and, by default, the national championship — a total of 15 post-season games will feature a Nike-on-Nike matchup. Among them, ironically, is the Russell Athletic Bowl on Dec. 29 in Orlando, where Nike-sponsored North Carolina will play Nike-sponsored Baylor.

Adidas-sponsored teams will compete against each other in three games: the Foster Farms Bowl, the Belk Bowl and the Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl.

Meanwhile, the Marmot Boca Raton Bowl will be an all-Under Armour event, and the inaugural Air Force Reserve Celebration Bowl, on Dec. 19, will be an all-Russell Athletic game.

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