2018 NASSS Annual Conference
Sport Soundtrack: Sport, Music, & Culture

Kevin Gbadebo

Western Illinois University
The Influence of Shoe Companies in AAU Basketball

The Amateur Athletic Union is one of the largest non-profit and multi-sport event organizations for amateurs, founded in 1888. AAU boy’s basketball can be viewed as an outlet, providing opportunities for middle school through high school athletes a chance to secure a college scholarship. AAU basketball tournaments are held in April-August giving amateur athletes the chance to play basketball year round, also giving college coaches the opportunity to begin recruitment and scout athletes on and off the radar.
    Shoe companies like Nike, Adidas, and Under Armour have a tremendous influence in the AAU basketball circuit. AAU basketball coaches and these top shoe companies influence amateurs to sign with schools that have the same sponsorship as their AAU basketball teams. Nike, Adidas, and Under Amour all hold high profile basketball tournaments during the summer where the shoe reps are granted access to converse with the AAU coaches, players, and parents influencing them with sponsorship deals (Mattioli, 2014). Mainly focusing on the teams that have success during the tournaments and or individuals athletes who have the potential to make it to the pros. “ It’s all about keeping the shoe contracts and making the shoe companies happy. If you’re winning, then shoe companies are going to provide” (McDaniel, 2017). Our presentation will focus on the economic impact that the shoe companies have on the players and families when it comes to recruiting.