Where is the Speedo of these Winter Olympics? ~ Brand Mix

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Where is the Speedo of these Winter Olympics?

Photo: Soaza the Schwartz from Shredoptics.com

Where are the equipment manufacturer breakout stars of these Winter Olympics? I haven't noticed anything. Yes, the alpine skiers dutifully take off the skis at the end of their run so we can see the manufacturer logo. But nothing really stands out. Certainly nothing to compare to the splash that Speedo made at the Beijing Olympics. Its LZR swimsuits were so dominant that swimmers wearing Nike and other competitive brands demanded the right to switch. If there are opportunities to make newsworthy innovations in swimsuits, surely there are more opportunities in winter sports?

It was a lot different back in the 1960 Squaw Olympics according to this Sports Illustrated archive article. In those days, the sport was still in its infancy and pioneers like Howard Head, Ed Scott and Anton Kästle were in the stands cheering on their equipment. Is it that, these days, the leading manufacturers have gotten so good at product development that innovations by one company are so quickly matched by the others that they create little advantage?

Perhaps the closest anyone has come to breaking out is Shred Optics, a company started by Olympic Gold Medalist and World Cup GS Champion Ted Ligety. Ted was 5th in the Super-Combined, sporting a Shred helmet and goggles. That gave his company a valuable publicity boost. Unfortunately, he didn't do so well in the GS, his favored event so he missed out on a second promotion opportunity. (The gold medal for successful use of personal endorsement of your own product must go to Li Ning in the Beijing Games. By becoming an important part of the Opening Ceremony, he successfully promoted his shoes, ambushing Adidas, the official Olympics sponsor.)

Or perhaps the breakout will be the Norwegian curling men team's argyle pants? Until the Vancouver games, these pants from Loudmouth Golf were only ever seen on golf courses. But, now that they've crossed over to curling, will they be this year's Crocs? So far, Loudmouth seems blissfully unaware that the Norwegians are making their pants famous. Their site makes no mention of them. Better these pants than anything from ice dancing.

No comments:

Blog Directory - Blogged