Brands battle to be top Rio dog
The battle by athletes for medals in Rio is not the only war going on – brands are fighting it out too.
So says Lars Becker, in the Ispo.com News daily newsletter, reporting on the wars between Nike, Adidas, Puma and Under Armour to be top dog.
Nike, Adidas, Puma, Under Armour and more – alongside the fight for medals is a competition between sporting goods companies for public attention at the Olympic Games in Rio.
Brand presence at the biggest sporting event on the planet remains invaluable, reports Becker. ISPO.com presents the plans of various companies.
Puma bets on Usain Bolt, and other elite Puma athletes, in spite of not being a sponsor of these 2016 Games.
Says Puma Chief Executive Björn Gulden when presenting the quarterly figures, “athletes like Usain Bolt will be wearing our innovative and design-oriented products.
Bolt is the trophy of Puma’s “Olympic team”, which for the first time also includes other track and field athletes from Barbados with medal chances. Puma is not an official sponsor of the Olympics.
Usain Bolt is to spur on the company from Herzogenaurach, Bavaria that is fighting for market share at the Olympics – just as French soccer star Antoine Griezmann did at the European Football Championship. Thanks to Griezmann, who was the top scorer in the Euro 2016 and also awarded best player, the currency-adjusted sales at Puma rose by 12.8 percent in the last quarter.
The Olympic Games are also important for Adidas, which kitted out several of the most successful countries including Germany and Britain, while not signing up this time as an official partner.
The brand sponsors many top athletes individually. Compared to the Olympics, football has a different value for sporting goods companies.
Millions of shirts are sold at major soccer events – Adidas made two billion euros in turnover from shirt sales at the 2014 World Cup. At the Olympics, on the other hand, sales are boosted more indirectly.
Says an Adidas spokesman,“Here it’s all about visibility and brand presence. This way the brand image is promoted.”
Unlike its three major rivals in the sporting goods industry, Nike is an official supplier of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio.
The world market leader had to pay tens of millions for this privilege – but as a result can advertise using the words Olympics and Rio 2016, notes author Lars Becker.
The US giant has contracts with 8000 athletes worldwide, including includes some of the biggest stars at the Olympics.
Newcomer Under Armour conquered for the first time at the Olympics in Rio, ranked number two worldwide, behind Nike and before Adidas, but is also not an official partner.
The 2016 Olympics in Rio comes at exactly the right time to demonstrate this new global player, with star athletes Michael Phelps and Wimbledon champ Andy Murray, among about 250 athletes sponsored
Peter Murray, Vice Preside of Sports Marketing for Under Armour Peter Murray says “We are trying to expand the brand worldwide and the Olympics will play a role in this. We are only just beginning.”
Says Lars Becker in the Ispo.com newsletter, “The sporting goods companies are fighting with their gloves off for market share – and for the stars of the show. “Nike hasn’t always come out on top, in spite of sponsoring the Dream Team.
“In the US, Adidas increasingly snatches more and more stars from Nike in sports like football and baseball…” and Under Armour is fighting hard.
• Pictured: Aussie achievers in their Adidas uniforms gather at the end of the first week of Games competition, pictured on the AOC site