The Cross Branding Debate

cross brandingI’m mostly writing this post to see if I am nuts or my players. My team is in the midst of a heated debate over the possibility of switching our uniform brands from Nike to Adidas. The uniforms are a budgeted item paid for entirely by our school. No shoe or uniform company gives us any type of discount or deal. Here is the debate:

Coaches Side: I would like to switch our uniforms to Adidas from Nike not because I feel either is better than the other but, because a local company that reps for Adidas sponsors the Detroit Catholic League in which we play. For their support I am pushing Adidas. Again, no kick backs just supporting someone who supports us. AND the uniforms look really nice. Even my players concede that fact.


Players Side: “Cross Branding” is a sin. I really think they believe this. They are of the opinion that if our uniforms are Nike everything else from shoes, to bags, to warm ups to socks to toilet paper have to be Nike. And of course like most basketball players they prefer/love Nike.

My biggest beef with the whole situation is that kids today throw around terms like we are a “Nike school” or we are “sponsored by Adidas” when in actuality 90+% of schools I imagine buy their own gear. Choosing to give all your money to one company does not mean they are sponsoring you. It means they are really good at marketing. There are of course some schools and summer teams that are sponsored by shoe companies. In these instances, I can understand player’s allegiances. I recently worked a basketball showcase and was slightly relieved to confirm that this phenomenon is not confined to my program. The kids at the showcase had their varying allegiances as well. Naturally, a lot of these kids played on big time AAU teams so I imagine they are sponsored in some cases.

In summation, I think it is perfectly fine for a team to wear Adidas uniforms and Nike shoes. Until Adidas, Nike, Under Armour or hell even British Knight decides to truly “sponsor” our team or even give us some type of discount I almost feel silly to give all my money to one company because of the logo. All I want for our team is good looking, economically priced uniforms and shoes that fit well. Some wins would be nice too……

Where do you and your teams stand on this debate?  Let me know in the comments below.


  1. This is a great topic, just curious is this a travel team or high school? If it is a high school what do your other sports have? I am currently at s high school that needs a total change, we have uniforms from Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, etc with varying colors for each. Regardless I believe that a team should be all in with one company, too much mismatching becomes tacky.

  2. Teams, players, and coaches should spend more time on passing, cutting, and working on defense, and less time worrying whether their nike shoes clash with their adidas uniforms. Perhaps more concentration on the things in basketball that really matter, like fundamentals. I can’t even watch aau basketball because of the lack of fundamentals. Players can double hesitation crossover with a forced step back 3 pointer, but can’t spot an open teammate cutting to the hoop…oh yeah, no one cuts to the hoop anymore…and no one passes anymore..tsk, tsk.
    Hoping Wisconsin or Virginia win NCAA so team play will come back into vogue. Beautiful basketball!

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