Nike will forgo
its iconic logo in the Olympic pool when its sponsored athletes wear Speedo’s LZR Racer, a suit that reduces a significant amount of drag in the water and has, since its launch in February, broken 31 world records. Nike will still have branding opportunities with its swimmers’ caps and footwear outside the pool.
According to Dean Stoyer, US media relations director at Nike, the company proposed the change based on ongoing conversations with the athletes. He told PRWeek that it will not affect the terms of the sponsorship or Nike’s communications strategy. However, he did say “we feel we need to be up front, address it, and be clear” in one-on-one conversation.
“While it has an impact on our position with swimming innovation today, we never rest on our laurels. If anything, it’s more of a wakeup,” said Stoyer.
He explained that the situation had been reversed at the Athens games, when Nike launched breakthrough technology that prompted ten swimmers who were not sponsored by Nike to wear the Nike suit and break records.
On the other side of the pool, Craig Brommers, VP of marketing at Speedo, said, “This just give the [Speedo] story more legs.”