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Adidas changes up Scouting Combine speed contest

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Last year, an attempt by Adidas to grab some of the Scouting Combine buzz from Under Armour backfired when receiver J.J. Nelson didn’t get the $100,000 promised to each of the three fastest runners, based on a technicality.

This year, there’s no such technicality — but the bar has been raised. This time, being the fastest won’t matter; the money gets paid only to someone who breaks the all-time Scouting Combine record of 4.24 seconds, set by Chris Johnson in 2008. But if someone sets the record, he gets not $100,000 but $1 million. If he does it wearing Adidas shoes.

Last year, Adidas paid out $100,000 each to Trae Waynes (4.31 seconds), Phillip Dorsett (4.33), and Kevin White (4.35). Under the new standard, each would have gotten nothing.

Nelson, who ran a 4.28-second 40-yard dash, said he wore Adidas shoes but later learned that he wasn’t eligible because he hadn’t previously signed an endorsement deal with the company. That requirement has now been dropped; the only current requirements are: (1) wear Adidas shoes for the run; and (2) set the record. (Here’s the longer, legalese version.)

It won’t be easy. Johnson’s record has stood for eight years for a reason. So instead of definitely paying out $300,000 in exchange for a bunch of publicity, Adidas will potentially pay out nothing in exchange for a bunch of publicity. Which is always the best kind of publicity.

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21 Responses to “Adidas changes up Scouting Combine speed contest”
  1. mikelitoris1 says: Feb 16, 2016 10:54 AM

    Well first make a running shoe that isn’t terrible.

  2. remstar10 says: Feb 16, 2016 10:54 AM

    Not paying Nelson was shady AF. Shame on you.

  3. tvguy22 says: Feb 16, 2016 11:03 AM

    Legalese. Hooray!

  4. habsfanatic says: Feb 16, 2016 11:05 AM

    Come on Rich Eisen you can do it!!

  5. granadafan says: Feb 16, 2016 11:07 AM

    Screw Adidas. They did JJ Nelson wrong.

  6. vicnocal says: Feb 16, 2016 11:12 AM

    Man, Kevin White running a 4.35 at his size is just criminal.

  7. doctorrustbelt says: Feb 16, 2016 11:30 AM

    Top Tens
    Pro Models
    L.A. Trainers
    Grand Prix

  8. levanderwilliams says: Feb 16, 2016 11:31 AM

    Smart on the part of Adidas.

  9. bmacwillconn says: Feb 16, 2016 11:33 AM

    Hey Adidas…..Knock it off and stop with the loopholes. Makes me not want to buy your products because I’m wondering what loopholes you have in place if the products aren’t manufactured correctly and I need to ask for a refund.

    This isn’t a smart way to grow a brand. Your marketing guy/gal is a dope.

  10. joetoronto says: Feb 16, 2016 11:36 AM

    “This time, being the fastest won’t matter; the money gets paid only to someone who breaks the all-time Scouting Combine record of 4.24 seconds, set by Chris Johnson in 2008.”

    Bo Jackson ran a 4.12 at 230 lbs.

  11. goingthextramile says: Feb 16, 2016 11:40 AM

    Hope someone breaks the record running barefoot. LOL

  12. doctorrustbelt says: Feb 16, 2016 11:43 AM

    Ben Johnson ran 4.38 over 40 meters.

    40 meters = 43.74 yards

    ! ! !

  13. jm91rs says: Feb 16, 2016 11:50 AM

    There has to be some college track guy somewhere that can sneak into the combine and break this record for a life changing $1M.

  14. MichaelEdits says: Feb 16, 2016 12:26 PM

    I’ll give $50 t0 anyone who beats the all-time Scouting Combine record while wearing a t-shirt advertising my company. No endorsement deal necessary. You don’t mind unrolled pennies, do you?

  15. ebdug says: Feb 16, 2016 12:40 PM

    Someone probably could break the record if they didn’t have to wear those darn shoes.

  16. BradyIsTheGCOAT says: Feb 16, 2016 12:45 PM

    adidas is a terrible company run by awful people. Glad they lost their shirts with the reebok purchase.

  17. snowbdr says: Feb 16, 2016 1:08 PM

    Bo Jackson had the fastest time at 4.12. USA Today and SI both have articles on that.

  18. breadmeatcheese says: Feb 16, 2016 1:10 PM

    Are Adidas still made in Sri Lanka?

  19. koolaid69 says: Feb 16, 2016 2:08 PM

    Nobody wears adidas anymore its all about the jays

  20. conormacleod says: Feb 16, 2016 2:55 PM

    If anybody can run that fast, they probably will already have a shoe contract from a company that actually makes good shoes.

  21. nflofficeadmin says: Feb 16, 2016 6:26 PM

    The messaging is clear. With Adidas there is only a small chance of success.

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