UCF: Nike To Pull The Best Marketing Coup Ever?

I’m in awe this morning. Everyone is going nuts, upset at Marcus Jordan and dad Michael over Adidas dropping UCF in response to MRjr lacing Nikes last night.

Marcus Jordan

(UCF readying for its ‘White’ Knight in Nike?)

But after talking to two prominent sports marketing execs this morning, all indications are that Nike will soon swoop in to save the day, picking up the UCF sponsorship that Adidas has abruptly vacated.

Brilliant.

Sure, the Jordans have taken a transient hit about Marcus’ refusal to wear Adidas, but think about the bigger picture for father and son.

Soon, UCF will be a Nike school, which will bring more prestige and likely help in recruiting. The Knights, largely anonymous as a basketball school before the controversy, are now firmly on the radar screen of the media and potential players.

And Nike corporate will soon come off as the white ‘knight’ by saving the day with shoes and apparel for all of UCF’s athletes. Not to mention tidy cash payments to the school and coaches.

Now for the conspiracy theory: What’s the odds Marcus Jordan’s signing with UCF was contingent on Nike picking up Adidas’ deal if the latter bailed? Not saying there’s anyting in writing, but do you really think the school would risk outfitting its entire sports program and cause coaches to lose thousands of dollars over the p.r. bump of inking a Jordan?

I have to believe there was some contigency in place between the school and Nike when Marcus signed with UCF, seeing as we now know he never had any intention of wearing Adidas.