Nike go all out to block competitors from being advertised in Olympic photo

The company sponsor the US basketball team

olympics, basketball, usa, nike, adidas. kyle thompson

Picture by: Nike Basketball/Twitter

They may be missing LeBron James and Steph Curry, but the United States will go into this summer's Olympic Games as overwhelming favourites to win gold in the basketball tournament.

With the record-breaking Golden State Warriors almost retaining their NBA title last month, and James guiding the Cleveland Cavaliers to their first ever NBA title, the sport is undergoing a resurgence.

A popular sport, means money is available to be made from the public. Luckily for Nike, the sportswear company sponsor the America national team. As Adidas sponsor the NBA teams, it's a huge opportunity for Nike to publicise their product.

On Monday afternoon, the company unveiled their team portrait ahead of the Olympics. On first glance, there seems to be nothing wrong with it.

On closer look, Nike decided to block out the shoes on player with non-Nike deals. That includes Golden State Warriors star Klay Thompson (back row, third from right) and Harrison Barnes (back row, left). 

It's not the first time, Nike have pulled such a sneaky move. Ahead of the 2008 Olympics, Dwight Howard's shoes were blocked by the coach Mike Krzyzewski, as he was the only non-Nike player in the team.

The 2008 US Olympic Team. Picture by: Nike

Howard decided to use has hand to slyly cover the Nike logo on his shorts, as way of a mini protest that will have kept his sponsors happy.

When it comes to branding in America, it's a massive business.