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Nike, an Olympic Sponsor?

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by

Katie Wang

on 3 September 2012

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Transcript of Nike, an Olympic Sponsor?

Team USA Domestic Sponsor
Official Outfitter “They feel they can target their consumer better by working with the athletes and the teams rather than being a banner sponsor,” said Sam Poser, a Nike analyst with Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc., a brokerage firm based in Birmingham, Ala.

German competitor adidas is the flagship sportswear sponsor of the London Olympics, and its three-stripe logo will be all over the Olympic Park and Village. Adidas will have exclusive licensing rights for sportswear at the London 2012 venues and store.

The Nike swoosh will abound on the track, however. All U.S. track and field athletes are required to wear the Nike U.S. Team uniform because Nike is the official outfitter for the U.S. Olympic Committee and sponsor of USA Track & Field. Individual U.S. track and field athletes can, however, wear a different company’s shoes while they compete, according to the USOC.

But should adidas-sponsored sprinter Tyson Gay win a medal, or Asics-sponsored hurdler Lolo Jones medal, they’ll face more wardrobe changes.

They’ll have to slip on Nike’s medal stand uniform, including shoes, before they step on the podium to accept their medals, according to the USOC. Nike Inc. Adidas is official Olympic sponsor (at a cost of $63M)
Nike Inc. took on a lesser role at 2012 Olympics
"They feel they can target their consumer better by working with the athletes and the teams rather than being a banner sponser," said Sam Poser, a Nike analyst with Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc., a brokerage firm based in Birmingham, Ala.
Ambush marketing?
IOC is not going after Nike
Nike skirts ambush rules Nike TV Commercials “Find Your Greatness” ad campaign started with the opening ceremonies, and is in 25 countries
Main commercial premise involves athletes competing in several places around the world that are also called London - East London in South Africa, Little London in Jamaica, London, Ohio, and a health club called London Gym
Nike UK spokesman: commercial has been thoroughly vetted by Clearcast, the body responsible for ensuring ads don’t break the advertising code published by the Advertising Standards Authority
These are standard Nike themes; little leaguers, backyard champions, living room gymnasts doing what they do for the love of the sport. Difference is the locales involved
Thisisnotadvertising.wordpress.com ranked this like ad as the 2nd best Olympic ad. Adidas’s ad ranks 7th
The main ad gives way to numerous other 18 second commercials “Jogger” commercial (my favorite) is long and has great dialogue about all athletes, not just the precious few with the best DNA. Some say this is the best one. Slowly coming clearer in the picture is not an elite runner, but rather an overweight 12 yr old from London, Ohio “Wheelchair Racing” commercial highlights handicapped athletes and their ability to be great Message Nike brand chief: The idea is to simply inspire and energize everyday athletes everywhere and to celebrate their achievements, participate and enjoy the thrill of achieving in sport at their own level
Message is new & groundbreaking:
Official doesn’t mean great
You don’t need official equipment to play a great game
You don’t need to be an official Olympic Gold medalist to be an athlete
And.....you don’t need to be an official sponsor of the Olympics to be a great brand.
Some of the taglines include (this is more for posters/print?):
Greatness doesn’t need a stadium
Greatness doesn’t need its own anthem
Greatness doesn’t only exist in SW19
Yes it is communicated effectively by appealing to ordinary folks. And even beyond that; by showcasing handicapped or challenged individuals, it should make almost any viewer think that “if they can do it, so can I” Nike 2012
Olympic Sponsorship John Armstrong, Matt Thebeau, MarkVoudrie, & Katie Wang “They feel they can target their consumer better by working with the athletes and the teams rather than being a banner sponsor,” said Sam Poser, a Nike analyst with Sterne, Agee & Leach Inc., a brokerage firm based in Birmingham, Ala. Adidas is official Olympic sponsor (at a cost of$63M) Nike is a Domestic team sponsor
They are also an official outfitter Commercials Apparel Social Media Print The IOC is not going after Nike for ambush marketing
They determined that Nike just skirts the ambush rules “Find Your Greatness” campaign started with opening ceremonies; 25 countries
Main commercial premise involves athletes competing in several Londons
Clearcast: ASA rules not broken
Standard Nike themes; little leaguers, backyard champions, etc.
This Nike ad ranked as the 2nd best Olympic ad; Adidas’s ad ranks 7th
Main ad spawns several others “Jogger” commercial uses an overweight 12 yr old from London, Ohio to deliver a powerful message “Wheelchair Racing” commercial highlights handicapped athletes and their ability to be great Message The idea is to inspire and energize everyday athletes to celebrate their achievements, participate and enjoy the thrill of achieving in sport at their own level

Message is new & groundbreaking:
Official does not mean great
You don’t need official equipment to play a great game
You don’t need to be an official Olympic Gold medalist to be an athlete
And...you don’t need to be an official sponsor of the Olympics to be a great brand

By showcasing handicapped athletes, viewers think that “if they can do it, so can I” Activation Leveraging the Olympics $0 in sponsorship rights, vs the $63M that Adidas spent
New market for Nike, thanks to the unique nature of the Olympics
Viewers are not standard sports fans, many have had minimal exposure to Nike
Viewers are intrigued by Nike at a peak motivational moment
Not selling the usual tactic of “our products will enhance your performance”
Pitch is to get off the couch and exercise, and Nike counts on you recalling their motivating commercials Prior to Olympics Athlete Marketing
Sport Marketing
TrackTown During Olympics Newspapers
Magazines Brand Exclusion Zone Post Olympics Celebrating Athletes
Activation Athlete and Press Creative Activation
Sportsmanship
Etiquette Interaction in London Making it Count (Jan'12)
Live Billboards
Interactive Messaging Mission accomplished, judging by the excitement and discussion that these commercials are creating

Not because of an ambush, but because it’s about stories and emotions that connect with viewers #Olympics Social Media Usage - Aggressive tactics
- Applied across all demo/geo-graphics
- More exposure and reach, less on targeting.
- Highly emotional to promote virality.
- Multi-platform
- Multiple in-platform campaigns
@nike, @niketraining, @nikerunning, @nikescocer Digital Marketing Strategy Nike is sacrificing receptiveness for reach. Probably due to the inability to speak specifically about the Olympics, making social commentary, during the event, less relevant to consumers. However, viewers overwhelmingly see the campaign as positive, which is necessary for a successful digital marketing campaign. Emotional connections promote virality. Social Mentions Before Social
Mentions
Currently Don't just watch. Make your stand. #findgreatness
gonike.me/6017TrFv @Nike THANK YOU! for the message back, that itself has inspired + motivated me for the new football season with my club. What is Greatness? Here's @Nike's definition... And I agree. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2JnYcuRW @YungWillz44 That's what we're here for. Hope you find what you're chasing this year. There is greatness in the journey. #findgreatness. Final Thoughts:

- Olympic sponsorships allow access to important social properties such as athletes and other social influencers.
- Lacking the ability to use an athlete’s passion and energy regarding their participation is a serious detriment to effective social media platforms.
- Nike’s success with their current campaign completely relies on creativity and successful integration with traditional media.
- Social media marketing will either become more difficult for non-sponsors due to IOC rule tightening, or easier with more robust and inventive social platforms. Message The Olympics are offer unprecedented visibility, a global backdrop for Nike. The apparel platform for the brand provides the opportunity to debut:
Next generation innovations: sustainable and game changing technologies
History in U.S. track and field
Showcase Nike's heritage
Association with winners 4 Platform Sponsorship Focus:
Commercials
Apparel
Social Media
Print Activation Nike uses the powerful marketing tool of the Athletes themselves (1990's Michael Jordan)
Fans see memorable moments:
Podium uniform = success,
see on every U.S. athlete that medals
allows Nike visibility to all sports
Players wearing Nike while competing
Symbol is visible/recognizable Leveraging the Olympics No major innovation in track and field, a sport of hundredths and thousandths like swimming which has seen innovation: 2008 Beijing The Speedo LZR Racer

*Introducing:
Nike Pro TurboSpeed suit
Nike Flyknit Ultra light shoe
Nike+ pressure sensing shoes As Official Outfitter Nike ensured high visibility during events-- global reach
Stateside Nike sponsored athletes(track and field, basketball, soccer, tennis)-- idolized stars
They make brand apparent on athletes:
strong contrast between swoosh and background
strong brand association for Nike Nike Innovation Summit
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