Nike Posts Solid Q3 Amid Adidas Resurgence Nike Remains Top Provider For Tourney Teams Michigan Gets Regular Jordan Jerseys Back UNC Football's Move To Jordan Could Pay Off Adidas CEO To Keep Investing Heavily In U.S. UNC Football Moving To Jordan Brand Nike Uses Davis For ASG Weekend "Equality" Ads Nike Launches Equality Initiative Nike, Adidas Battling For British Soccer Teens Nike Shifts Approach To Sponsorship As NBA Evolves
SBD/11/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing
OAKLEY'S NEW SNEAKERS: REVOLUTIONARY OR REVENGEFUL?
Published May 11, 1998
On Tuesday, Oakley will introduce a new, domestically- produced sneaker that "seems destined to be viewed either as masterstroke or fiasco," according to Starr & Kaufman of NEWSWEEK. While Oakley's new sneaker "is about trying to seize a marketing opportunity," it's also about "a clash of giant egos, a corporate grudge match pitting" Oakley against Nike and Oakley Founder & Chair Jim Jannard against his former friend, Nike Founder & Chair Phil Knight. Jannard noted that his company's decision to enter the shoe market came after Nike's decision to manufacturer its own line of eyewear: "I marvel that they would risk our relationship to go after part of a $200 million business against the possibility of us going after a share of a $5 billion business. It showed a great amount of disrespect. They obviously didn't take us seriously" (NEWSWEEK, 5/18 issue). SHOES YOU CAN USE? Jannard says Oakley has designed a "technically better shoe, more consistent in sizing with improved support and protection." But Starr & Kaufman write that "few in the industry are as impressed with [Oakley] as it is with itself," and add that "many think Oakley's shoe is a misguided, perhaps even suicidal, potion driven by little beyond Jannard's ego." Marketing the shoe "will be tricky," since many of Oakley's "big-name" eyewear endorsers already have footwear deals. In addition, Oakley plans no major ad campaigns around the new product and so far "has mustered a rather limited distribution network" of only about 200 stores nationwide (NEWSWEEK, 5/18 issue).