Nike dropped jaws when it let sponsored swimmers wear Speedo's new racing suit in the Olympic Games and trials. But at least two have covered Speedo's logo while competing in Beijing.
Nike dropped jaws when it let sponsored swimmers wear Speedo’s new racing suit in the Olympic Games and trials. But at least two have covered Speedo’s logo while competing in Beijing.
The buzz around Speedo’s LZR Racer suit prompted Nike to permit its swimmers to wear the competitor’s suit in competition.
But Eric Wright, of sponsorship-monitoring firm Joyce Julius & Associates, said at least three non-Speedo athletes have covered up Speedo’s logo.
“Usually they were throwing a piece of black tape over the logo,” said Wright, vice president of research for the firm.
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Wright said he didn’t know the athletes’ identity. But in a replay of NBC’s broadcast of Monday’s 4×100 meter relay, Speedo’s logo doesn’t show on suits worn by Nike athletes Cullen Jones or Jason Lezak.
The latter anchored the winning team, with the fastest-ever split.
Wright figured Speedo had lost 30 seconds of exposure in men’s and women’s races as of Wednesday — “which comes to $750,000 of value if you’re comparing it to ad buys,” or about $25,000 a second
Nike also is getting a lift from Michael Phelps’ gold medals.
Speedo sponsors Phelps, but Nike’s deal with the U.S. Olympic Committee requires him to wear a Nike sweatsuit in receiving medals.
That led to 3 1/2 minutes of prime-time TV exposure through Wednesday morning, or $5.3 million in equivalent ad spending, Wright said.
Speedo has gotten nearly 2 1/2 minutes from Phelps wearing its suit, he said.