SBD/August 13, 2012/Olympics

Nike Wastes No Time Launching Ad Campaign In Britain To Congratulate Mo Farah

Nike’s “last stab at ambushing” the London Games involves a new ad campaign “celebrating Mo Farah’s remarkable double Olympic gold medal winning performance,” according to Mark Sweney of the GUARDIAN. A new outdoor ad campaign is set to “run on digital screens across London” that features the “lower half of a distance runner … and the strapline ‘Twice the Guts. Double the Glory.’” The athlete is “not thought to be Farah himself.” The ad will run “across digital billboards and poster sites that the footwear and clothing brand has been using to run its ‘Everyday athletes’ campaign.” Farah became just the seventh man in history to win the men’s 5,000 meters and 10,000 meters at the same Olympics (GUARDIAN.co.uk, 8/13).

STANDING OUT IN A CROWD: NBC NEWS' Bill Briggs wrote marketing experts are "awarding a gold medal in ambush marketing to Nike, which scored with bold commercials, smart PR moves and its distinctive, ubiquitous neon-yellow Volt shoes." N.Y.-based Carbone Smolan Agency co-Founder Leslie Smolan said, "I thought Nike's approach was absolutely brilliant. Nike managed to integrate themselves into the games -- the best way to show your product, not just talk about it." LOCOG "considered legal action against Nike before dumping the idea." The IOC said that Olympians "can wear whatever shoes they feel offer them a crack at the podium." Nike said that as of Friday, 41 athletes "had medaled wearing Volt shoes, including 43 percent of track and field medalists" (NBCNEWS.com, 8/12). Univ. of Windsor Sport & Olympic History Professor Scott Martyn said, "You have to say that the (marketing) value for money is fantastic, that they've done exceedingly well given the relative investment and they've capitalized on it quite significantly" (TORONTO STAR, 8/11).

WHAT PRICE GREATNESS? ESPN’s Michael Wilbon noted U.S. women’s soccer team has "really been getting popped around the world" for wearing Nike T-shirts containing the phrase "Greatness Has Been Found” after defeating Japan to win the Gold Medal on Thursday. Wilbon said, "It's a Nike ad, ‘Find your greatness,’ that has touched off wearing those shirts and I guess ‘finding your greatness’ speaks to really finding little things to motivate yourself and finding greatness within oneself. But that’s not how it’s being taken. Perception can be reality.” ESPN’s Dan Le Batard said, “Nobody likes arrogance. They want the humble winner. This is not a lot of humility here.” Wilbon added, “This team is not real humble.” Le Batard: “It’s not very creative and it’s not humble at all” (“PTI,” ESPN, 8/10).
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