During the collegiate basketball tournament, which runs November 23-26, the 16 participating programs compete in special-edition footwear and uniforms.
The NCAA Tournament is arguably the greatest sporting event in all of sports. The problem is the amount of money generated, the constant mistreatment of college students and the ridiculous rules associated with the collegiate game is beginning to find opponents at every level. I personally feel that the NCAA should be disbanded and another party should come in with a better plan in place for money generating collegiate sports. This is beginning to take shape in college football with the creation of the Pac Pro Football League and league television deals by colleges.
Nike’s dedication to its shareholders places the brand at the forefront of numerous movements. A privatized Nike run sports network is something that should be discussed. As the Big 12, SEC and other power conferences begin to create their own television networks garnering million dollar deals for the conferences an interesting position is being born. The SEC could technically afford to pay its players in its conferences. If at any point the school and leagues decide to do so and break away from the NCAA in football, highly unlikely but it could happen, it’s not the SEC who would be hurt, it’s the NCAA.
Nike can’t outright replace the NCAA but the brand’s PK80 tournament is capable of being branded as an early season representation of college basketball. The sheer number of colleges Nike sponsors creates a unique marketing opportunity for an early season Tournament styled championship. Right now Nike is only utilizing this as a chance to promote their sportswear and footwear, but think about it… in 2013 Nike sponsored 52 of the 68 teams in the NCAA tourney. It was in essence a Nike sponsored NCAA Tourney where Nike didn’t see any of the ad revenue generated by the event.
I’ve said this before and I will continue saying this, maybe Nike will hear me. If Nike wanted to get shareholders excited the brand simply needs to create leagues for its athletes in the U.S. College basketball is primed for disruption. The traditional sports model is primed for disruption. The PK80 is a proving ground. If Nike wants to take it to a new level, then Nike should begin positioning itself as a media company… which they’ve already done by focusing on its Nikeplus Membership packages.
Nike as a media company started this year with Breaking2. The NCAA needs to be disrupted and if Nike decided to sponsor Nike events for college teams privatizing collegiate athletics and other brands followed suit and capped off every year with a playoff that pitted brand champions against each other in a neutral event the ramifications and money could be explosive. Use the source link to check out the PK80 collection from Nike. The tourney starts this week.