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Would elite track exist in the US without Nike?

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  • #16
    Sounds like you're talking about Nike going out of business. I'm talking about them pulling their track sponsorship, which is two mightily different things.

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    • #17
      Originally posted by gh
      Sounds like you're talking about Nike going out of business. I'm talking about them pulling their track sponsorship, which is two mightily different things.
      Yes we are. Your point is absolutely right though.
      Afrikan

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      • #18
        It's likely Nike makes more on a single style of basketball shoe than it does on its entire running brand, so I'm not sure what the company invests in T&F --including athlete contracts, event sponsorship/promotions and other expenditures-- is really that disportionate.
        I would wager Nike also makes a lot more $$ on cheap low-tech "running style" shoes it sells to big-box stores than it does in the relatively small niche of running specialty stores.
        Nike's roots are in running and its high-tech running shoes are what keep the company grounded and give it credibility, but if the founder/ceo weren't a former Duck runner I'm not sure its investment in the sport would be so great.

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        • #19
          Dave and Chris - you are completely right. Somehow Golf has a much greater appeal and marketability than track. It dumbfounds me because I think Golf is even more boring to watch than to play, and I would not waste 3-4 hours playing golf unless I was paid handsomely for it. And yet people will pay big bucks to play and even bigger bucks for equipment.

          A major difference in running is that there are no handicaps and no magic piece of equipment that will make you better (this is true in golf too, but people are idiots). People fancy that they can somehow compare themselves to Tiger or whoever. The harsh reality of track is that when you see a guy run 26:50 for a 10K and you can't run that fast for 8k (5k for most people), there is no delusion of comparison. That may be the downfall of T&F.

          Yet at the same time, there are many more people jogging regularly and therefore buying running shoes than people playing golf. I do think, however that there would be a resurgence of interest in US Track if a guy like Ryan Hall won the Olympic Marathon. Case and point, Who watched the Euro Cycling races before Lance started dominating? Now it is actually possible to see these races on TV, not just read about them in a "Velo-News" paper. Of course, neither cycling or track will ever reach the appeal of baseball (as boring as golf? tough call), football, or even golf. A major difference in track being that equipment has little to do with performance. In fact, the less the better and the clothes don't look cool to wear around. I cycling, equipment does help a little bit and people are willing to pay big bucks for a bike that weighs 1 kg less, rather than lose it from their gut.

          One thing I have also noticed in recent years is that even local golf or cycling events have prize money or merchandise for the winners including age group in cycling. Road races almost never do. Recently a local ran 1:10 for a Half Marathon and won a pair of shoes, 2nd got a medal trinket. That is the equivalent of a minor league baseball player (full time pro athlete) in terms of ranking in the sport. The point being that in T&F you have to already be National or World class before enough money to make a living will start flowing. Not so in other sports.

          Of course Nike may sell just as many running shoes with or without track athlete sponsorship because relatively few people watch track or road racing anyway. Their money may be better spent convincing people with "studies" published in Runner's World that shoes should be replaced after 200 miles. Didn't it used to be 500? :lol:
          In the sun with a popsicle, everthing is possible

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          • #20
            Originally posted by ExCoastRanger
            Nike's roots are in running and its high-tech running shoes are what keep the company grounded and give it credibility, but if the founder/ceo weren't a former Duck runner I'm not sure its investment in the sport would be so great.
            What happens when he kicks the bucket? Think stockholders will be interested in investing in a sport with (I assume) little return compared to higher profile sports?

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            • #21
              Originally posted by bad hammy
              Originally posted by TrackDaddy
              I'm not sure but Adidas has a very impressive group of athletes under contract and a meet that has top talent every year.
              Two, including Reebok. But I don't think there is really much argument that Nike has been at the forefront of promoting US T&F for quite some time.
              I had forgotten that Adidas owns Reebok until gh mentioned it the other day.

              And Nike owns Converse I believe :?:

              Is it true that more Adidas TRACK athletes are featured in TV ads than Nike TRACK athletes?
              The fool has said...there is no God. Psa 14

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              • #22
                http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive ... money.html

                I now run in Converse All Stars to prevent injury.
                In the sun with a popsicle, everthing is possible

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Run DMC
                  http://www.dailymail.co.uk/home/moslive/article-1170253/The-painful-truth-trainers-Are-expensive-running-shoes-waste-money.html

                  I now run in Converse All Stars to prevent injury.
                  I thought you'd be wearing "My (your) Adidas"
                  The fool has said...there is no God. Psa 14

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                  • #24
                    I thought you'd be wearing "My (your) Adidas"
                    Nice!.

                    I won't stop rockin' (runnin') 'til I retire.
                    In the sun with a popsicle, everthing is possible

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Run DMC
                      I thought you'd be wearing "My (your) Adidas"
                      Nice!.

                      I won't stop rockin' (runnin') 'til I retire.
                      "...and since kindergarten you acquired the knowledge...." :wink:

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by gh
                        ... And Nike is also a monster presence on the roads, adidas not-so-much.
                        But addidas has THE monster on the roads (more distance WRs than addidas?).

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                        • #27
                          has NOTHING to do with how many U.S. athletes are sponsored to what level, trust me.

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