Being Visible is Not Foundational when the Sole is Swoosh – Brooks PR Invitational

zapatillas de running Brooks ritmo bajo 10k talla 35.5
zapatillas de running Brooks talla 48.5 rojas entre 60 y 100

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The initial discussion for this post was going to include New Balance and adidas with Brooks, but the nature of the events taking place this weekend required a bit of separation. This is the first weekend my AAU track and field team isn’t competing in this summer season. There was an event listed for our region, but the meet director cancelled. This left countless teams from Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee without an event the week before AAU Qualifiers and Regional begin.

To make this post specific to the Mid-South region is a red herring, but it does allow for an understanding of missed opportunities by brands in track and field. This is a topic to revisit at the end of this post, but first it’s important to emphasize why simply being visible, placing too much value in likes and views of videos in marketing, isn’t enough to create or convert a brand loyal athlete.

The Brooks PR Invitational

Below is the 100m event from a truncated schedule in the Brooks PR Invitational. The Invitational focuses on the highlight running events of track. There aren’t any field events. This is why comparing the Brooks PR to the adidas, Nike and New Balance nationals doesn’t work.

Brooks delivered an event capable of building into a league concept which is another topic to discuss… a very important topic. First, watch the video below.

Brooks should be commended for creating an event to highlight the skill of champion high school athletes. The PR Invitational features high school state championship winners from around the nation. It’s beautifully organized with Runnerspace, but go back to watch the video and look at every athlete’s foot in this event. Then watch the Girl’s 400m below:

Throughout the Brooks PR Invitational, as beautiful as the kits each athlete was given to wear in the event, the foundation of almost every runner is Nike’s sprint footwear. In regional events the same situation takes place. Nike is the dominant brand by default. Athletes train in Nike running gear and footwear while also wearing the spikes of the Swoosh in events.

Runnerspace hosting the livestream for the event offers a discussion for a failure in marketing for Brooks, but this post isn’t about where I see fractures. It’s about the missed opportunities in countering control of the sole/soul. It should be noted Runnerspace beautifully handled the media aspect of the PR Invitational. The platform broke the event into digital chunks which is something I’ve discussed as one of the biggest failures for the adidas ATL Games:

14.41zapatillas de running Brooks neutro voladoras ultra trail?

Brooks Dyad 10

Running brands cater to distance running and marathoners via specialty running shops. These shops tend to elevate brands like Brooks, New Balance, Hoka and On. Hence the incredible growth to a billion in marat by Brooks. Those specialty running shops are not where parents or young athletes’ shop.

Specialty running carries an elitist air which can alienate the demographic of athletes invited to the Invitational. Because the athletes admire the most visible stars in the sport of track and field, Sha’Carrri Richardson immediately comes to mind and she is sponsored by Nike, the athlete seeks out Nike gear. Spikes are purchased at Dick’s Sporting Goods. Because Nike has a growing relationship with Dick’s other brands will get overshadowed. On the boy’s side of the track Noah Lyles is the most prominent, but not one of the athletes in that 100m video is wearing an adidas spike. Which means they probably aren’t training in adidas running shoes either.

Brooks England C19 Carved Cambium Siodło

Which moves this discussion back to the original point of adidas, Brooks and New Balance hosting outdoor spectacles. The adidas and New Balance outdoor nationals are needed opportunities, and they provide a marketing opportunity, but Method is needed much more to offset the strength of Nike is a commitment that is more regionalized and rooted in training.

Track and field may have a team component, but it is truly an individual undertaking for an athlete. In regions throughout the country young athletes lack the skill ritmo to compete in field events and often lack the ability to train consistently for sprint events. While distance running is an easier sell and specialty running does a fine job of providing camps and training sessions, track and field is not cross country or 5k and marathon training.

Toe drag in sprinting, the training associated with jumping and throwing requires footwear for each skill. The weekly events of track and field begin in the fall and finish in the summer. Nike and running offer a form of synecdoche which makes the sport almost inseparable from the gear used. When brands like Brooks and adidas sponsor events they are often done for the visual aspect of marketing vs the brand building aspect.

HOME (adidastfnationals.com) This link takes you to the site for the adidas Nationals. It’s built on a black background (creates burn-in and reduces the time people spend on a site). It doesn’t have any links to media for viewing the event. Look at the favicon (the small logo for the URL) and it’s not there. Search YouTube for viewership and there is a random livestream, but the ownership is incomplete. The IG does a solid job of counting down the event, but it feels incomplete.

To be fair sites like Runnerspace and MileSplit handle the duties of organizing media for the major events, but brand marketing teams are missing the real path to the soul and the sole matters.

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