During the 2012 Summer Olympics, it was reported that security at the London venues was instructed to crack down on any people who tried to attend events while wearing recognizable logos of companies that weren’t exclusive sponsors. That was a very nice way of saying that McDonald’s owned the fry monopoly and Coke wanted to kick out anyone wearing Pepsi logos, which would have sucked for me because my whole wardrobe is nothing but Mountain Dew shirts.
This was a little unfair to the average Joe, Boris or Ming cheering on their countries, because as some surveys showed, nobody knew which companies were even sponsoring the Olympics. In fact, 37% of the 1,034 people who took part in an online survey believed that Nike was a sponsor, when it fact it wasn’t – Nike does, however, sponsor Team USA and other countries so it didn’t matter – and this just basically proved what we already knew – Nike is really awesome at marketing.
And Nike has also been awesome at making its own Team USA gear to celebrate not just the men’s basketball team, but all of America’s gold medal winners. First, as the U.S. women’s national soccer team earned the gold medal with a win over Japan, Nike broke out its “Greatness Has Been Found” t-shirts.
That pissed a bunch of people off. Then, more famously, as the U.S. women earned more gold than their male counterparts, Nike famously made that “Gold Digging” t-shirt.
Oh, and let’s not forget that whole ridiculous ordeal with the snazzy duds that America’s athletes donned as the official uniforms being made in China. That, of course, raised outrage from the mouth-breathers at FOX News and our country’s politicians, who had to stop doing absolutely nothing to fix the country and shake their ham fists before taking their 3-month vacations. Nike just couldn’t catch a break, as everyone was pissed off over something during the Olympics.
The reason I bring this all up now, is that Nike had also previously released some Signature Series Art t-shirts that celebrate the company’s cash cows – LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and Kobe Bryant – and I think the designs are awesome. But what I didn’t know until this weekend was that the shirts were actually designed by the Japanese art design studio Power Graphixx, and I thought, “Well, that had to have pissed a bunch of people off, too, right?” What about all of the American art design companies? Are they not good enough for Nike?
So I Googled and Binged, but I couldn’t find even a mention of outrage over this fact. Because nobody ever really gave a crap about any of those other shirts or sweatshops in China once the Olympics spotlight was turned off and the free press stopped. Well played, Nike.