Although Nike routinely has more basketball teams it backs in March Madness than its competitors, the Swoosh is tied with another athletic label with representation in the men’s Final Four.
Under Armour, like Nike, has two teams it sponsors still in competition: the Auburn Tigers and the Texas Tech Red Raiders. Auburn is a fifth seed, and Texas Tech is a third-ranked team in the tournament.
During the Elite Eight round, The NPD Group Inc.’s senior sports industry analyst, Matt Powell, tweeted the percentages of teams in the tournament that brands sponsored. According to Powell, Nike was the overwhelming leader with 59 percent of the teams, followed by Under Armour with 25 percent and Adidas with 16 percent.
Nike’s remaining teams are the No. 1-ranked Virginia Cavaliers and the No. 3 seed Michigan State Spartans.
In the Final Four round, Auburn will face Virginia, and Texas Tech will take on Michigan State. Both games are scheduled for Saturday at 6:09 p.m. ET and 8:49 p.m. ET, respectfully.
The championship game is slated for April 8.
On the women’s side, the Nike-backed Connecticut Huskies and Oregon Ducks have advanced to the Final Four. Tonight, the Baylor Lady Bears will face the Iowa Hawkeyes — both Nike schools — for one of the remaining two spots, and Under Armour-sponsored Notre Dame Fighting Irish will battle Nike’s Stanford Cardinal for the other. Games are scheduled for 7 p.m. ET and 9 p.m. ET, respectively.
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