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Graduation Madness: Tell Nike, Adidas and Reebok To Get Off The Academic Sidelines

By ThinkProgress on March 13, 2006 at 11:17 am

"Graduation Madness: Tell Nike, Adidas and Reebok To Get Off The Academic Sidelines"

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Of the 65 teams that qualified for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament (aka March Madness), 30 fail to meet minimum academic standards as defined by the NCAA. Twenty-one of the failing schools are sponsored by Nike, 8 by Adidas and one by Reebok. Over the next two weeks Nike, Adidas and Reebok will profit as these schools — whose players are adorned with their company logos — advance through the tournament.

We’re launching a campaign to pressure Nike, Adidas, and Reebok to use their market power to help these athletes graduate college. Join the campaign HERE. It features an interactive bracket with academic and sponsorship data for each team.

Specifically, we are calling on Nike, Adidas and Reebok to sign on to the following statement of principles:

1. We recognize that as a sponsor, our company has a shared responsibility to ensure that collegiate basketball players graduate.

2. We pledge to provide financial incentives to our sponsored schools that consistently exceed minimal academic standards, as defined by the NCAA.

3. We pledge to terminate sponsorship deals with schools that consistently fail to meet minimal academic standards, as defined by the NCAA.

Act now. Tell Nike, Adidas and Reebok to get off the academic sidelines.

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