Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, and Ohio State have been selected to battle in the first college football playoff. But before any of those games kick off, we already know the real winners, ESPN and Nike.
By selecting these four schools for the first college football playoff, ESPN hit the jackpot as they will be able to showcase four of the most popular college football programs in the first year of their $US7.3 billion investment and avoided less popular alternatives such as Texas Christian or Baylor.
In addition to the big name schools, ESPN also has no shortage of big storylines to help sell these games to a massive TV audience. The three games will include:
- The defending national champions, Florida State, riding a 29-game winning streak.
- Top-ranked Alabama going for their 4th championship in six years.
- Ohio State, one of the most storied programs in college football history, going for their 8th national championship.
- Oregon, maybe the most exciting team in the country, a team averaging 46.3 points per game and 7.4 yards per play.
- Last year’s Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston and his controversial off-the-field record.
- This year’s presumed Heisman Trophy winner in Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota.
- The potential top three picks in next year’s NFL draft in Winston, Mariota, and Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper.
And those are just the major storylines.
The other big winner is Nike who unveiled the uniforms that will be worn by the four teams in the playoff were unveiled.
Now let’s take a closer look.
The first thing you will notice is that there are 37 swooshes visible in that photo and just four team logos (click the image for a larger view).
The number of team logos goes up to nine if we include the helmet logos on the Florida State and Oregon uniforms and the duck on the Oregon nose bumper (the top of the facemask). But the number of Nike logos also goes up if we include the Nike wordmark on the shoes.
Of course, this Nike showcase was never in much doubt. Of the top 11 teams in the final college football playoff ranking, ten are Nike schools with the lone exception being no. 7 Mississippi State, who has an apparel and equipment deal with Adidas.
The investment in these schools by Nike is about to pay off big time.
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