Akron Zips head coach Terry Bowden is trying his darndest to get the people pumped up for his football team’s game against Marshall Saturday.
One problem — the sponsor on the jersey and James’ place as one of the biggest faces of Nike.
The LeBron James Family Foundation appears in the upper corner and the photo did not come from a University of Akron-affiliated account.
Akron’s athletic department has a shoe and apparel contract with adidas, and all the Zips teams are outfitted by adidas except the men’s basketball team, which is one of four programs nationally to wear the LeBron line of Nike gear. Kentucky, Ohio State and Miami (Fla.) are the others.
James is also prominently featured in Akron basketball’s players lounge. Akron’s coach, Keith Dambrot, coached James in his first two high school seasons before returning to the college ranks.
A photo of James decked out in the Nike-sponsored uniform of his alma mater St. Vincent-St. Mary High School appears to be what was used to create the Akron look.
James has been with Nike since before he even finished his time in high school, signing a seven-year, $90 million deal with the company in 2003. He was just in Beaverton, Ore. Tuesday showing off a new Nike shoe, the "LeBron 12."