Another stellar video from Nike

June 27, 2008

Nike does it again with their Director’s Cut of “Take it to the next level” from Guy Ritchie.  The original video was good but this extended version is just stellar


Nike pushes the boundaries of what digital marketing means

June 24, 2008

 “We’ve been viewing digital as less of a marketing channel than a place for services.” -Stefan Olander, Nike, Global Director of Digital Media

I am fascinated by how Nike is embracing digital.  While others are content to view digital as another marketing tactic or ad medium, Nike is taking it a step further.  They are viewing it as a place to reinforce their brand equities by providing meaningful servies…or what they call Brand Utilities. 

Digital marketing through brand utilities

They first entered this space with Nike+, the training system partnership with Apple that lets runners track and share their data online.  Though I am not a runner, I still consider Nike+ one of the coolest brand experiences of the digital age and their RunLondon mash-up is a regular feature in any presentation I give.   Now Nike is giving me even more fodder for presentations as they expand their Brand Utilities to Soccer (through a program called Boot Camp) and Basketball (with a Facebook application called Baller’s Network).

What is fascinating as a Brand Marketer is how Nike is reinforcing their tagline of “Just Do It” and Brand Mantra of “Authentic Athletic Performance” through these programs.  If you aren’t familiar with Brand Mantra (also known as Brand Essence), it is the “heart and soul of a brand” and “is constant across product categories and countries.”  It sets the boundaries for a brand to work within. 

A partner instead of a product

Thus, through these Brand Utilities, Nike is defining itself as more than just an athletic apparrel company…more than just a shoe company.  Nike is elevating themself above competition.  They are giving a meaningful service to the athletes and becoming a partner instead of just a product.  Just think about that for a moment.  Instead of treating digital marketing as an ad buy, they are treating it as a way to form a deeper relationship with athletes all over the world.  They are going beyond a funny viral video, MySpace profile or beautiful banner ad and instead creating a digital brand experience that forms a connection with their audience.  Few, if any, brands are thinking about digital this way but they should be. 

How could your brand use digital to connect with people?

Brands I Love: Adidas – Impossible is Nothing

March 22, 2008

When I was growing up, soccer was my Ali_Impossible_Is_Nothingsport of choice despite the fact I lived in the very football crazy town of Canton, Ohio (home of the Pro Football Hall of Fame).  I started playing when I was six years old and since that time, Adidas has been one of my favorite brands.  In the early years, the brand served as a statement for us soccer players because Adidas was a soccer brand.  It was a way to show the world (or at that time, the school) who we were and what we were about.  In that sense, I loved my Adidas Samba shoes and today I’m probably on my 15th pair of them.  Adidas has, and always will be, a lovemark for me.

That lovemark status helps drive my infatuation with their “Impossible Is Nothing” campaign.  In fact, I have a picture of the campaign hanging behind my desk at work to serve as everyday inspiration.  What I find interesting is the contrast behind Nike and Adidas.  Both are extremely successful companies and both have amazing marketing (possibly two of the best in the world).  But why is Nike just a brand I respect while Adidas is a brand I love?  Read the rest of this entry »

Guess who just bought a professional sports team?

February 25, 2008


So as of last week, I am officially part owner in an English Football Club (soccer that is…not American Football).  Thanks to the power of Wikinomics and crowdsourcing, I purchased a small share in Ebbsfleet United FC, which plays in the Blue Square Premier, with 28,300 of my “closest friends” through MyFootballClub.  While I have played soccer all my life, I never really followed English soccer.  However, the chance to own part of a professional sports club for only £35 was too tempting to resist.  The whole concept of crowdsourcing is one that marketers need to pay close attention to.  MyFootballClub is just the latest in series of business models that have cropped up where consumers are using the power of the crowd, partial ownership and technology to shake up business as usual.  Just look at in lending or in t-shirts/apparel.  This is one of those waves that once started doesnt show signs of stopping any time soon.

 Now the only question is how I am going to find a way to see my team actually play a game.  I don’t think ESPN carries too many Blue Square Premier games.  Maybe I will need to look into fractional aircraft ownership over at NetJets and get myself a flight to