Every year to celebrate March Madness, Nike releases team wallpapers for all of its sponsored-schools that make the tournament. "March is Cyclones' season" would be one especially dishonest example. Anyway, you can sift through them all over at the Nike Basketball twitter account. Each one features one blurry player (no number) and some awesome motivational message.
Like this Wichita State wallpaper. Cool?
Okay, maybe not.
More fun than the wallpapers themselves: The Kentucky fan Nathan Ullmer, who realized that Nike's using Michael Kidd-Gilchrist as the template for a bunch of other schools.
Yeah, BRING THE 'NOIS.
We're not sure whether Nike got the image from the NCAA or it falls under fair use, but in either case it's not like the players could challenge it. All a nice reminder that ex-NCAA players have zero control over how their image gets used after they stop playing. And likewise, a good reminder that the Ed O'Bannon lawsuit could change all this forever sometime in the near future.
Until then, Nike should capitalize on all this #viral #madness with a contest for college hoops fans to match each generic player from their motivational wallpapers to the actual players from years past who are getting screwed out of royalties.
Like who's *this* random ex-college player who's not getting paid for any of this?
Guess correctly and in this imaginary contest and you could win two tickets to Final Four games where none of the players get a cut of tickets, TV, or apparel, ever, even after they graduate and companies use their image to sell next year's tournament.
Catch the March Madness fever!