​Sports sponsorships go much deeper than many imagine. Companies like Nike and Adidas, who largely run the show nowadays, are involved in far more deals than meet the eye. 


In the case of five-star recruit, Romeo Langford, Adidas did everything in their power to make sure wherever he signed was under their tent. ​His dad even waved their shooting sleeve behind his son on signing day to solidify the relationship.

According to former Louisville coach, ​Rick Pitino, and three others in Adidas' youth basketball division, the apparel company had a big role in promoting schools like Kansas and Indiana (where Langford committed) whom they sponsor.


Adidas won a the rights to Langford over Nike and Under Armour by promising to help out with Langford's father's AAU team which he hoped to start. Pitino was asked by Adidas what they could do to secure Langford:


“The way they phrased it, it was whoever [shoe company] was going to pay the dad’s AAU program the most money, gets it,” Pitino said in a recent phone interview with the Washington Post. A few days later, Adidas’ league added a new team: Twenty Two Vision, featuring Romeo Langford on the court and Tim Langford as team director.


Although legal, the world of high school athlete sponsorships is certainly a shady one. But hey, that's the business right? Since he is heading off to Indiana for next season, Langford will be looking to keep Adidas' trust since they have helped his family out.