Basketball is currently dominating the sports world. While the NBA regular season is still underway, the spotlight now is on college for March Madness. With the tournament for men kicking-off March 19 and March 20 for women, the road to the championship has both brands and retailers alike excited.
“It’s always a great time when sports are top of mind,” said Jake Jacobs, president and CEO of Footlocker, in an email to Footwear News. “We are always trying to make that emotional connection with our consumers and this exciting time centered around college basketball provides an awesome stage to showcase our vendors stories.”
With the start of the tournaments a week away, team sponsors Under Armour, Nike and Adidas have announced what will be on the feet of the ballers.
Teams to Wear Custom Colorways of Three Under Armour Models
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Utah is the hottest men’s basketball team Under Armour sponsors going into Selection Sunday, and Notre Dame is among the top women’s teams in the nation, but the Utes and Fighting Irish will not be the only sponsored teams to wear custom tournament colors of the company’s most popular shoe models. Most of the sponsored teams in the NCAA tournament, according to the company, will be wearing custom colorways of the MicroG Anatomix Spawn 2 Low, the ClutchFit Drive and the MicroG Pro, while others will be wearing the Candy Reign, MI-30 and Underdog colorways of the CurryOne.
Nike to Release Duke-Inspired Kyrie 1
Although Kyrie Irving played just one season at Duke University in 2010 before entering the NBA draft, Durham, N.C. is where the guard developed an appreciation and learned the importance of being a part of a team. When the NCAA basketball tournaments are underway, fans of Irving will be able to purchase his signature shoe inspired by that team camaraderie developed with the Blue Devils. Nike is set to release the Kyrie 1 “Brotherhood” on March 21, utilizing Duke’s recognizable combination of colors, with blue and black dominating the boot and sole, highlighted with white accents on the swoosh, tongue and sole.
Adidas’ Tournament Teams to Wear Top NBA Signature Shoe Models
The company unveiled their “Made in March” jerseys for eight sponsored teams back in February –including two of the top men’s programs, Kansas and Louisville– showing what the jerseys and shorts selected tournament teams will wear. In an email sent Friday, Adidas told Footwear News that their sponsored tournament teams would be wearing the signature shoes from their top NBA-sponsored athletes, including the D Lillard 1, J Wall 1 and the D Rose 5 Boost.