Nike’s Olympic genius

POSTED BY Andrew Wicklund on Aug 7, 2012

Nike has managed to get my attention at these Olympics—despite Adidas being the official shoe and apparel sponsor. Yes, once again Nike has proven its marketing genius. It's a simple as this. Encourage your sponsored athletes to wear neon limon-coloured shoes, and you won't—can't—go un-noticed. Because they clash with the patriotic colours of most countries, the shoes are second only to the 5-ring Olympic logo in tying nearly every nation together. I can only guess that the other (aka Adidas) are green with envy.

WRITTEN BY Andrew Wicklund

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Aug 8, 2012 at 1:25am

no doubt the neon green is a trend, but no doubt that Nike's neon shoes dominate the Olympic landscape. In several heats they've had over half of the racers in the same shoe. No doubt that if I was an athlete looking for a new pair of shoes at the moment, I'd consider Nike running shoes...even though I haven't in the past. I mean sheesh, if they're good enough for the best athletes in the world...

Thanks for sharing the Specialized observation. I'll have to keep an eye out!

Chris L

Aug 7, 2012 at 2:31pm

It's more that neon yellow is just a fashionable running shoe color at the moment - Nike isn't the only brand with runners competing in neon yellow. Third picture down includes Tianna Madison running in neon Saucony shoes. Puma also has runners sporting neon yellow so you can't automatically assume a neon shoe is a Nike shoe.

A better example would be Specialized bicycles who equipped nearly all of their sponsored riders (including men's road gold medal winner Vinokourov) with neon red painted bikes, helmets and shoes. Branding rules in the Olympics effectively prohibit most riders from using their regular bikes and Specialized turned that situation to their advantage in a big way. Most other companies went with color schemes which were dominantly black (Scott, Cervelo, Cannondale, Pinarello) or white (Trek, Cannondale, Canyon). It was a deliberate move by Specialized just for the Olympics since neon red is hardly a fashionable color for bikes at the moment - the all black murdered look is the big fad for now.