Nike has constantly taken inspiration from athletes and sports men when it comes to their endorsement and sponsorship mechanism. They have incorporated many big names for their campaign such as Ray Rice, Tiger Woods, Adrian Peterson (NKE)etc. in order to give limelight to their products. Even at times their product range has been launched under the name of an athlete such as Nike Air Jordan Retro XI sneakers. But since the company has experienced incidents of misconduct from athletes then this mechanism has become a source of vulnerability for the firm as well as stakeholders. It is high time now the company comes up with a new strategy.
In order to get the wow factor in your campaign and a slight edge it is necessary that you outshine. Generally people will not talk about you unless you give them something to talk about. Things that are exceptional tend to attract people and thus make a mark. For Nike, their strategy was to add glamour to their merchandises through sports celebrities. The aura is outcaste through these stars who endorse such brands. The issue arises when people consider these icons as a reflection of their brand and do not discriminate that they are average humans with a life hence they end up developing negative feelings for the brand if anything goes wrong with them. When such a scenario occurs then the positive advertisement becomes a negative one and a marketing issue arouses.
This is not something new then why it has become something of massive concern now as compared to the past. The reason is quite simple. There are two things that have fueled the situation. Firstly, many devices have been installed at various locations that give no room for privacy of these celebrities. Secondly, social media boom has lead to widespread of information without checking the credibility resulting in mayhem.
The point I make here is not that companies such as Nike should stop marketing themselves through the face of celebrities but it should not become their identity. Using celebrities as a medium is fine but launching product ranges under their name is just insecurity and lack of faith in your own brand.
Hence in a nutshell, Nike does not need to completely change its strategy but amend it in a manner that they do not become totally reliant on celebrities. Brands should have their own presence.