Nike's Olympic Shoe Branding Strategy

Learn How Nike Used the Olympics to Drive Brand Awareness with Yellow and Pink

The 2016 Rio Olympics were full of amazing stories of triumph and defeat. Each Olympics I watch to see who will emerge victorious in Olympic branding. The IOC (the governing body of the Olympics) has many branding guidelines and restrictions to Olympic branding. These guidelines create opportunities for companies like Nike who look for creative ways to gain mass awareness and generate deep brand equity throughout the Olympics. This year was no different—Nike used it's shoes with yellow and pink to win the Olympics branding game.


Photo source: (Getty Images) 

Yellow and Pink United Nike Olympic Athletes

The one great truth of business and life—with ever great challenge or obstacle, comes the catalyst to the great solution. Nike turned to yellow and pink to unite its athletes during the Olympics.  Nike went to it roots—it shoes, to make bold statement in the 2016 Rio Olympics. In an Engadget article, Nike discussed how it's Olympic shoes were inspired with tests with over 100 world-class sprinters. During the Olympics you saw every Nike track and field athlete with yellow and pink shoes. It was inspiring as you would watch the best runners in the world light up the track with yellow and pink. 

Below are are few examples of the athletes wearing the shoes. Photos were sourced from (Getty Images) to showcase the Nike campaign. 


Nike Pushed Past Brand Awareness to Brand Equity

Nike used its yellow and pink running shoes to drive awareness for their new line of running shoes they were about to launch (now launched).  Yellow and pink help them achieve consistent awareness as they executed their Olympic branding campaign. Brand awareness is the primary goal of advertising in the early days and months of a new product introduction. I thought unifying the best athletes in the world with bright yellow and pink shoes was a great brand awareness strategy.

Nike moved past awareness and built brand equity with their Olympic campaign. To explain what I mean, let me first define what brand equity is. Brand equity is based on the idea that a brand's value or cost can be greater because of the perceived tangibles and sometimes intangibles the brand delivers to us the consumers. We will pay more for the shoe because of the story, it's reason for being, it's not just a shoe—you're joining the "Just Do It" community. This idea (equity) is the reason Nike and its' Swoosh are worth billions. 


Now you combine their brand equity with the brand equity of the Olympics and you have quite the brand experience. Million of eyeballs were glued to the TV or Internet Streaming to watch the best athletes in the world compete and Nike made it really easy for each of us to know that they wore Nike. Sometimes the track was a yellow blur because all the runners were wearing Nike's shoes. 


Nike's Brand Equity Gold Medal

It was awesome to see Nike capture the attention of the world with their yellow and pink Olympic branding shoe campaign. I think it was a great way to drive awareness and equity with the attention of world. Nice job Nike Marketing! 

Oakley is also know for doing a similar approach with their glasses and goggles. I discuss Oakley's Olympic branding strategy with green at the 2014 Sochi Olympics here

If you like this article you'll also like: Oakley's Green Frame Olympic Branding Strategy