Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Nike Volt: Shocking successful ambush marketeering?

The organizers of each Olympiad try to block the non Olympic advertisers and prohibit athletes coming with personal sponsors. However try as they might they cannot prevent competitors from wearing whatever footwear they want, to compete. Seems the London Games were colored neon yellow thanks to Nike In. The non-Olympic sponsor has once again hijacked the biggest sporting event on the planet. Nike’s bright yellow Volt track shoes helped make the Swoosh instantly noticeable on TV. Nike’s strategy was simple, ‘be seen doing it.’ Using the science of colour they choose the yellow/green zone because of all the colors of the rainbow, the human eye and visual system is most sensitive to it. That meant Nike shoes reflected more light than nearly anything on the field. More than 400 athletes wore the yellow neon and most were field and track athletes but some fencers and boxers also had them in competition. All Nike’s sponsored athletes wore bright green shoes known as 'Volt'. Rival Adidas reportedly spent more than $150 million to be the official London sponsor but once again have been pipped to the post.

Nike's success with the Volt is reminiscent of the attention the company gained by providing gold shoes to retired American sprinter Michael Johnson. He used them to win the 200 metres in a world-record time at the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta. Attempts to punish ambush marketers have in the past not been successful because of the public backlash. However all eyes will be on the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro when Nike will serve as the official sponsor of those Games.

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