By: Will Burchfield

So if any player at the NFL combine breaks Chris Johnson’s 40-yard dash record of 4.24 seconds, he’ll be awarded an island.

Pretty cool, huh?

Now here’s the fine print.

The whole thing is being staged by Adidas, so eligible contestants must be wearing Adidas cleats. That’s not much of a stipulation, of course, and the cleats in Adidas’ ad campaign actually look pretty cool.

But read on.

It isn’t so much Johnson’s record that stands as the benchmark, but any record that is potentially established at this year’s combine. So if Player X comes along and runs a 4.23, thereby winning the island, but then Player Y strolls in and runs a 4.22, Player X can kiss the island goodbye.

But what if Player X breaks Johnson’s record, and then breaks his own record? Shouldn’t Player X – who is an absolute speed demon, by the way – get two islands? No, no. Per the terms of the offer, the “Athlete cannot break the Official Record in his first attempt…and then break the record again in his second attempt and earn a second Island.”

About that island. It will be chosen by Adidas and can’t be worth more than $1 million. So, in theory, the winner could be awarded a tiny bump of rock in the inviting waters of the Norwegian Sea some 500 miles off the tropical coast of Iceland. You know, a nice little vacation spot.

That’s assuming the winner even gets an island, of course. Per the terms of the offer, “Adidas shall have the right (in its sole discretion) to substitute payment of One Million Dollars to Athlete in lieu of providing Athlete with the Island.”  Who knows — maybe that’d be for the best.

The record-breaker better hope he isn’t involved in a tie, by the way. If so, there will be no island(s) awarded to anyone. And sharing isn’t an option. Instead, $1 million “shall be divided equally” among the eligible winners.

Think Adidas is covering the taxes? C’mon. The winner, whether he is awarded cash or an island, “shall be solely responsible for the payment of all taxes on any payments/benefits (specifically including the Island) received under this Agreement.”

At least taxes aren’t so bad in the Norwegian Sea. (Wait, they are? Figures.)

Finally, to be eligible for the prize, the winner must enter into an endorsement deal with Adidas before the start of the 2017 season. And this deal is binding. If the winner fails, for so much as a second, to wear Adidas footwear or gloves at any point in the 2017 season, the deal is terminated on the spot and the winner must either return the cash to Adidas or “transfer the Island to Adidas (or other third party) as directed by Adidas (all, at no cost to Adidas).”

No ifs ands or buts about it.

Oh, and by agreeing to the endorsement deal (which is a prerequisite of receiving the prize, of course), the winner pretty much signs his soul over to Adidas, granting to the company and its affiliates…(take a breath)…

…”the royalty-free right and license throughout the world to use, my name, nickname, social media identifiers, initials, slogan or catch phrase, likeness, biographical or historical information, and any material provided by or statement made (whether oral or written) by me, in connection with adidas (and its retail partner’s) marketing, specifically including on-line and social media marketing.  Athlete waives any right to inspect and/or approve the finished work that may be used hereunder.”

But hey: Paradise awaits.


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