Under Armour may have the marketing rights for the 2013 NFL Combine, but that hasn’t stopped adidas from running away with the headlines. The apparel company has run ads in the Indianapolis area, site of the combine, promising a shoe deal to the player with the fastest 40-Yard Dash time. Run the fastest 40, get a contract offer. (Catch up with top NFL prospects at Velocity Sports where they trained for the NFL Combine.) That means that Marquis Goodson, who recorded an official 4.27, Tavon Austin, who ran an unofficial 4.25, or both, are in line for sponsorships.
adidas spokesman Michael Ehrlich confirmed the offer while talking to ESPN, but he would not comment on how much the deal would be worth. The site did ascertain, however, that there is no minimum.
It is a smart move by the shoe giant, which is currently promoting its lightweight adiZero 5-Star prime cleats. The 40-Yard Dash, which happens to be all about form, is arguably the highlight of the Combine; and often the capabilities of the player with the fastest time become a hot debate topic among scouts and fans. The shoes weigh an impressive 5.3 ounces, feature a reinforced toe, and use technology that allows for increased stability and support while eliminating any excess material that could slow a runner down.
It is worth noting that even if the winner chooses to accept adidas’s offer, he will not be allowed to wear the company’s logo on the football field during games, since only Under Armour and Nike currently hold marketing rights with the NFL. It was a lesson quarterback Robert Griffin III had to learn the expensive way when he promoted crazyquick Cleats.