nike ambush marketing 1996 olympics

Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. Michael Payne was the marketing coordinator for the Olympics that year. This time Nike purchased all available billboard space in the Atlanta area during the Olympic time period to advertise and utilized their sponsored athletes during the Olympics. We could say that they are ‘the king’ of ambush marketing. For example, the brand's magazine ads blared: "If you're not here to win, you're a tourist." As Payne recounts in his 2012 book Olympic Turnaround: "Athletes, who had devoted their life [sic] to training and just getting to the Olympics, were angry at being positioned as 'failures.' Even tweeting the term "gold medal"? According to Po Yi, an advertising attorney with the New York firm of Venable LLP, "Nike realized that, after the IOC tightened the rules, they could no longer do ambush marketing.". Disclaimer. ), What Nike did in Atlanta 20 years ago, Favorito said, "directly resulted in the much more stringent guidelines that both the IOC and the USOC have out there today. Nike's marketing had a distinctly abrasive edge to it. As social-savvy marketers have quickly learned, the U.S. Olympic Committee has ironclad regulations, backed by U.S. trademark law, that restrain nonsponsoring brands from saying anything even vaguely evocative of the Olympics. The brand opened an outsized "Nike Centre" right beside the athletes' village. A WarnerMedia Company. On the feet of athletes, on flags fluttering in fan hands, and on every imaginable billboard space in Atlanta. Olympic host cites depend on official sponsorships to raise money to stage the games, so they’ve created groups like the ODA to seek out ambush marketers and punish them. While Reebok was invited (and paid over $20 million for the pleasure), Nike showed up unannounced and rocked the party. What's more, according to veteran sports marketer and Columbia University professor Joe Favorito, Nike's marketing shenanigans were largely responsible for Olympic officials taking a hard line on nonsponsoring brands getting anywhere near the Olympics in their marketing. Anyone who goes over the line will be pushed back. Nike also distributed flags to fans, guaranteeing that its swoosh logo would be in full view all over the property. During the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, Nike again launched a successful ambush marketing campaign. Such tactics infuriated Reebok, which had ponied up a reported $50 million to become an official sponsor, and had a similar effect on Olympic officials. 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games – Kodak (Actual sponsor: Fuji) The Origins of Ambush Marketing During the 1976 Montreal Olympics, there were 628 official sponsors, which meant the dilution of the Olympic brand: smaller impact for, and awareness of, official sponsors. Not only did millions of TV viewers see those Nike shoes on their screens, millions of Americans saw those same shoes slung around Johnson's neck a few days later on the cover of Time. All rights reserved. under which this service is provided to you. Last week, it unveiled the limited-edition Nike Air Trainer SC High, a $140, gold and teal-colored retro shoe themed after, that's right, the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. Except for one little problem: Nike wasn't an Olympic sponsor. All times are ET. And, no one was going to stop them fro… Johnson in his gold Nikes. If the IOC is showing its teeth to transgressor brands today, it cut those teeth in 1996. The IOC reportedly has a pack of lawyers waiting to pounce on any brand that runs afoul of its rules. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. "Most brands don't do it because it's not worth the risk." Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. Photo: Getty Images. Tall, muscular and graceful, Johnson blew past his competitors as though they were standing still. That afternoon, sprinter Michael Johnson took the gold in the 400-meter dash after finishing in 43.49 seconds. Do Not Sell, The Official 1996 Olympic Games Home Page, NBC Sports Presents The Centennial Olympic Games. Many critics consider this the most commercial Olympics ever. All Rights Reserved.Terms "I don't think our entire sponsorship strategy has changed as a result of what happened in Atlanta in 1996," Brooks said. "The list of no-no's has gotten much longer," says Yi, "and that's partly because of the effective ways that brands including Nike have engaged in ambush marketing through the years. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 Nike also bought billboards space all over Atlanta to announce: "You don't win silver, you lose gold.". Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. Family-Friendly Premium Content Drives CTV’s New Digital Hearth, By Charles Gabriel, VP and Head of Advertising, U.S., WildBrain Spark, 4 Value-Based Marketing Lessons Inspired by a Delivery App, Q5 Advertising Tactics to Ensure a Big Start to 2021, By Corinne Demadis, VP, U.S. East Coast, Smartly.io, {"taxonomy":"","sortby":"","label":"","shouldShow":""}, © 2020 Adweek - All Rights Reserved. Penalties can be … Not surprisingly, Nike's version of events doesn't give as much credit to the iron hand of the Olympic Committee. ", Nike Centre opened up right beside Olympic Village in Atlanta. Adding to the mesmerizing effect were the gold-colored shoes that Johnson wore on the world's fastest feet—a $30,000 pair of lightweight racing spikes given to Johnson by Nike. If the IOC is showing its teeth to transgressor brands today, it cut those teeth in 1996. A casual mention of Rio on Facebook? (The United States Olympic Committee did not respond to Adweek's request for comment for this story. Nike even built a building overlooking the Olympic Park. "There's a good chance they'll come after you, especially if you're using what they consider their intellectual property," said Jim Andrews, svp at sports and entertainment marketing agency ESP Properties. As for its easing up on its mercenary tone and tactics, "Nike has built a brand on, to some extent, edgy advertising and brand image," Brooks said. 10. ", Yi adds, though, that the IOC has recently loosened up on its Rule 40, which now grants brands that sponsor individual athletes a chance to work with them during the games—even though it retains the ironclad prohibitions against using the Olympics rings and logos, or and even words including "victory," "summer," and "gold.". ... Nike can't use the words "Olympics" … Most stock quote data provided by BATS. We continue to have an irreverent edge to us, but we're aware of the need to do that in the framework of events like the Olympics. But have you ever wondered how those rules got so ridiculously tight? The IOC has zealously guarded its trademarks for decades, of course, but if there was one tipping point, it happened 20 years ago, during the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. The latter's strategy is to stage a marketing ambush. But even though Nike did manage to get lots of cheap media exposure from its ambush marketing, the brand didn't exactly come out of Atlanta a winner. "Nike took a lot of flack for that campaign," Andrews said. Don't do it. Nike was plastered everywhere. According to Nike spokesperson Charlie Brooks, Nike signed on as a sponsor for the 2000 Sydney games largely because Reebok pulled out of its deal at the last minute. Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. In 1996, Reebok were the official sponsors – but who could tell? from saying anything even vaguely evocative of the Olympics. … We weren't going to sit back and let Nike's ambush marketing undermine and trash the very spirit and essence of the Olympic ideal.". In 1996, Nike had a marketing moment of Olympic proportions at the Atlanta Games. Instead of paying for an official sponsorship, Nike decided it could get its brand into the 1996 games in other ways—and Johnson's gold shoes were just the beginning. "It wasn't in the spirit of the games. Unless you happen to be a company like GE, Coca-Cola or McDonald's—a brand that can afford the reported $100 million to $200 million it costs to be an official Olympic sponsor—you'd better not mention the Rio games in your marketing.

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