Nike's Denson Says Track & Field Could Become Mainstream If Sport Is Remodeled
Nike Brand President Charlie Denson said that track and field “may attract more media and sponsor interest in non-Olympic years if it ‘repackaged’ itself in the manner of the $1 billion Indian Premier League Twenty20 series, which lifted cricket’s shortest format into the mainstream,” according to Tariq Panja of BLOOMBERG NEWS. Denson said, “I would love to see track and field come back on a more consistent regular basis. It would certainly be good for our business and I think there are a lot of people who’d be very interested. It’s a very compelling product to watch if done properly.” He cited IPL “as an example of a sporting makeover that track and field could try to emulate.” The nine-team IPL, which finished its fifth year “in May, takes place over eight weeks and attracts most of the world’s best criketers for matches that last about 3 1/2 hours.” Denson said, “If somebody could come in and do to track and field what the IPL did to cricket in India we would certainly like to be a large part of it” (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 8/16).