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Eugene, Nike Hosting Track Trials Irks Some That Say Entities Too Closely Associated
Published July 2, 2012
GETTING FACETIME: In Portland, Allan Brettman noted for companies like Brooks, Saucony, adidas, Asics, New Balance and other running shoe brands not named Nike, there was "no escaping the ubiquity of the Swoosh during the Olympic trials.” But the other brands also “knew there was no avoiding Track Town U.S.A. for the quadrennial event.” Smaller brands “rented hospitality rooms -- in hotels and fraternity houses -- to support their athletes and celebrate their selections to the U.S. Olympic squad.” They also wanted to “avoid losing any ground to Nike, no matter how far ahead the Swoosh may be in sales of both running shoes and apparel.” Brooks Sports Marketing manager Jesse Williams and others indicated that Nike, for “its vastness, has helped raise the profile of track and field.” But “resentment against the Swoosh still bubbles up occasionally.” Williams and Saucony VP/Global Sports Marketing Mark Bossardt said that USATF event officials were “too eager to cloak Olympic qualifiers with Nike-branded USA team apparel.” Competitors are “required to wear the garments during the Olympics games, but not at the Trials” (Portland OREGONIAN, 7/1).