Former Washington star receiver John Ross almost got his own island, the only problem was that he wore the wrong shoes at the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Coming into the NFL Combine, Adidas thought it would make a great PR stunt by offering to buy an island — “as soon as reasonably possible” — for any athlete that broke Chris Johnson’s record (4.24) in the 40-yard dash. The only catch was that the players had to run in the company’s new cleats and then agree to endorse the company’s shoes for the entire 2017-18 season.
here's the clip of the 40 yard dash record being broken pic.twitter.com/DPP9pKXVjs
— Steven Durso (@sdurso5) March 5, 2017
Ross ended breaking the record with a time of 4.22 and told reporters before the event that he expected to run under 4.3
News of the record went viral with many expecting Adidas to pay up on its promise. But what many people didn’t know was that Ross was running in Nike’s.
When asked about the idea of switching shoes and getting his own island, Ross smiled and said, “I really can’t swim that well. “And I don’t have a boat, so, you know, I had to run in Nikes.”
The PR stunt backfired for Adidas with Nike making all the headlines. Ross even ended up signing with them after his record sprint. Nike made sure to jump at the opportunity to take a couple swings at Adidas and started it all off with this tweet:
On an island all by yourself.
Record. Broken. ⏱💨
— Nike Football (@usnikefootball) March 4, 2017
Although the tweet was pretty good, the comments were even better.
Adidas: Free island to anyone that beats CJs 40 time
John Ross: *Runs 4.22*
John Ross: Where's my island?
Adidas: Ask Nike
— Lone Star Prospects (@LoneStarHSFB) March 4, 2017
— Nice Kicks (@nicekicks) March 4, 2017
u know what the tax and maintenance on an island is?
— Smooth Criminal (@jphilinaz) March 5, 2017
How bad is it for Adidas football when you offer an island and a kid decides to wear Nike to break the record.
— Jayson Swain (@SwainEvent) March 4, 2017
— J.R. Pipe (@Corrigan_Tweets) March 5, 2017
— Erika (@emesola) March 4, 2017
Well played, Nike. Boy did this whole dumbass island thing backfire on Adidas https://t.co/pRluEyMrrS
— KFC (@KFCBarstool) March 4, 2017