30 for 30: "Sole Man" Chapter 5 "The LeBron Affair" & Chapter 6 "Sonny, Ed, and the NCAA"

Chapter 5 of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series titled “Sole Man” offers further insight on the controversial

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Chapter 5 of ESPN’s 30 for 30 series titled “Sole Man” offers further insight on the controversial presence of athletic wear conglomerates in AAU and high school basketball leagues by focusing on how Nike was able to pry LeBron James away from his early allegiance with adidas at the critical onset of the start of his professional career in 2003. Sonny Vaccaro, a spokesperson for adidas at the time, discusses his role in wooing LeBron, and also pioneering today’s questionable affiliation between sports companies, who doll out millions each year to sponsor the teams of emerging young talent.

The final chapter in the series, Sonny, Ed, and the NCAA, shifts the series’ perspective by discussing how Vaccaro is working to once again change the sports culture by rectifying the “multi-billion monster” he helped formulate. Watch both episodes, and share with us your thoughts on the series and relating status of sponsor deals at the amateur level in the comments section.

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