Blog: Puma takes marketing gold in Beijing
Joe Ayling | 21 August 2008
Sportswear giant Nike must be seething at Puma's endorsement deal with Beijing sprint sensation Usain Bolt, after its own Olympic dream quite literally fell at the first hurdle.
After winning the 200m gold medal and breaking the event's long-established world record, Bolt took off his Puma Theseus II golden spikes and faced them to the heavens.
Furthermore, the Jamaican athlete had done exactly the same thing four days earlier in the 100m - even slowing for a celebration before he crossed the finishing line.
Just about visible to around 4bn viewers at the end of both races were a number of deflated athletes brandishing the famous Nike tick and trying desperately to keep up with him.
It was salt in the wounds for Nike after its own one-man show and local hero, Chinese hurdler Liu Xiang, was sensationally forced out of the Games with an injury earlier in the week.
The company has since tried to turn the limelight onto its US basketball team and is certainly not short of exposure at the Games, having outfitted many of the US and Chinese athletes dominating the medal leader board.
However, Xiang's withdrawal is a real blow, not least because he represents a host country that is Nike's second biggest marketplace.
The turn of events has also lent marketing exposure towards other brands at the Games, with Nike's main rival Adidas triumphing as Official Sportswear Partner and outfitter of a surprisingly successful Team GB.
The Olympics has also done wonders for Chinese sportswear brand Li Ning, which was bolstered by the spectacular appearance of its founder as final torch-bearer during the opening ceremony.
Meanwhile, Bolt's success has only been rivalled in the swimming pool, where US swimmer Michael Phelps has tallied up a collection of eight gold medals at Beijing 2008.
One beneficiary of Phelps' success is undeniably Speedo, with its already much-talked about LZR Racer swimsuit helping him cross the line in each race.
When the dust has settled in Beijing though it will be images like the one below that define an Olympics of mixed marketing fortunes for sportswear brands though, and one of triumph for Bolt and Puma.
By Joe Ayling, news editor.
Confirmation that digital supply chains are top of mind for apparel industry executives came last week with the latest plans from global sourcing specialist Li & Fung....
As a barometer of the issues top of mind for apparel sourcing executives, it is hard to beat the annual Prime Source Forum in Hong Kong. ...
Over the past month, Donald Trump and his team failed to offer any clear plan to ensure Americans would "Buy American, Hire American" - while the British government's attempts to clarify the specifics...
The Bangladesh government was forced to respond late last week to pressure over its crackdown on labour activists after a number of global brands and retailers, including H&M and Inditex announced pla...
- Why collaboration is key to fashion supply chains
- Rana Plaza four years on – Timeline of change
- Industry groups reaffirm commitment to Bangladesh
- Trump and Brexit get a dose of pragmatism
- Using worker surveys to drive supply chain change
- Adidas to digitalise Speedfactory concept
- Nike filed patent for "reinforced denim"
- M&S extends sourcing deal with Lindsey brothers
- Gap unveils five-year sustainable fibres pledge
- US Q1 in brief – Columbia Sportswear, Amazon
- Global market review of denim and jeanswear – forecasts to 2022
- When Things Go Wrong - A Practical Guide to Managing Common Problems in Apparel Sourcing
- Clothing Market in the Top 5 American Countries to 2021 - Market Size, Development, and Forecasts
- Outdoor performance apparel 2016: A broader perspective
- Southeast Asia strategic sourcing review – a focus on Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar