Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Blog 9: Blog Comments

I am commenting on Julian Maldonado’s blog, ‘Just Do It.’ He discusses Nike’s dominance in athletic apparel, more specifically the basketball market. His blog also touches on the popularity and respect of Nike over some of its other competitors, namely Adidas and Reebok. He also mentions the competition, or lack thereof, from these sportswear manufacturers and the reasoning why Nike overpowers them. I would like to touch on some of his points and reinforce why I believe Nike surpasses its’ competitors in important target segments.

As an avid Nike advocate myself, I must agree with many of Julian’s comments about Nike’s versatility and presence in the sportswear market. They combine more than just one emotion and touch on many sensory aspects in their advertising. Nike uses several different perspectives to reach out to its consumers and attempts to connect with them using a deeper meaning of their respective sport. Nike utilizes a wide range of emotions such as inspiration, excitement, humor, and drama to tap into the ethos of their customers. As Julian noted, Nike does its best to reach their customers on a ‘mental, physical and spiritual level’ with their advertisements and slogans. Nike’s legendary campaign slogan ‘Just Do It’ ranks as one of the top 5 slogans of the 20th century by Advertising Age, and these 3 simple words have spoken loudly to Nike’s target market and provides its’ consumers with a sense of pride in the brand itself.

To add to Julian’s argument, I feel that another reason why Nike dominates the sports market is because of the athletes Nike promotes. Ever since the introduction of the Air Jordan’s by of course than none other than Michael Jordan himself, Nike has revolutionized the athletic shoe and has turned the brand’s image into, what Julian would say is, a ‘baller’s haven.’ Michael Jordan was the first to wear baggy shorts and redefine cool in the NBA, and ever since then has propelled the Nike logo into one of the most known symbols in the world.

Now, 20 years since the arrival of Michael Jordan, the two arguably best athletes in the NBA, Kobe Bryant and Lebron James now don the almighty ‘swoosh’ logo. These 3 athletes are probably the most recognizable figures in basketball history for the past 20 years which has inserted a more than positive image within in consumers’ minds. With these players sporting the Nike symbol, more and more customers wish to become just like their favorite athletes by purchasing the same brand as their famous figures, imitation is of course the highest form of flattery. Everyone wants to be like Mike.

To counter one of Julian’s arguments however, is that one of its competitors, Adidas mainly targets a completely different segment in a totally location. Adidas is the largest sportswear manufacturer in Europe which is largely due to the country’s popularity in football (American soccer). What basketball and football are to the United States, football (soccer) is to Europe. Adidas tailors many of its products to its European crowd and sponsors a great deal of soccer clubs and organizations in Europe. Adidas anchors many of the top soccer athletes in Europe and is a highly recognized brand that emulates its most popular sport. Not to discredit Nike however, in the recent years Nike has been an emerging element in European sports snagging international stars such as Christiano Ronaldo and Ronaldinho. They have also utilized some of their raw sports advertising tactics to appeal to the European crowd. This commercial that features Guy Ritchie as the director and many famous European sports stars represents the true embodiment of Nike. This definitely appeals to a younger sports fan generation and Europe and creates excitement about the brand itself. Nike continues to impact any and every sports market from the United States, to the rest of the world.

Nike definitely pulls away as the leader of the majority of sports here in the U.S. and a wide range of sports in other countries (Nike currently has a 5 year contract with India’s Cricket league). With their never-ending innovation and insight into the mind of an athlete and their admirers, Nike will remain as a prominent sports figure on its own. Overall, Julian touches on crucial points within his blog and expresses his point of view on Nike not only as a marketer, but as an athlete.

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