If there is one thing that really annoys me, it is kicking people
when they’re down, which is why the recent criticism levelled at Nike
irritates me so much.
I’m happy to admit I love Nike. I love everything the swoosh stands for
and I won’t buy a pair of trainers that don’t sport the ubiquitous
So recent media scare-mongering claiming the trainers don’t give proper
support on the squash court has not put me off. Nor did the news (which
a lot of people knew already) that Nike paid Indian factories a pittance
to make the sports goods dissuade me from my quest to find the ultimate
pair of silver Air Maxes last year.
But I find it hard to understand how some people, namely the
self-proclaimed ’sports marketing experts’, can criticise a brand that
lifted the trainer industry to an all-time high by harnessing the sense
of exhilaration experienced by athletes.
In the 30 years since the company was founded, its logo has become as
famous as Volkswagen’s VW or McDonald’s golden arches. Can you name
another brand whose logo can communicate speed and credibility as
succinctly as the swoosh?
Nike has epitomised cool for as long as I can remember. Share the
rumours of the falling credibility of trainers in favour of ’brown
shoes’ (aka boots) with the millions of people over the world who still
buy Nike - if only for the fact it dared to back a beleaguered
footballer such as Eric Cantona when its support was most needed - and
watch their reaction.
The Nike brand is cool, its advertising is cool and that, rather than
falling profits or lack of confidence in its agencies, is what is
persuading the company to slow down its marketing efforts. Nike is
beginning to realise it doesn’t need to compete with Adidas or Reebok
any more. It’s already crossed the finishing line.