Business Economy

Nike has only focused on marketing emotions for 32 years

The approach of the 2008 Beijing Olympics has triggered powerful international and domestic commercial organizations to take the Olympic shuttle bus to obtain higher profits. However, it is difficult to plant a delicious cherry tree. Searching the bills of the companies participating in the Olympics over the years, there are both winners who have successfully reached their goals and losers who have lost their money. 

Specially planned the report of the sports goods commercial organization marketing show. The reporter conducted in-depth investigations in Shanghai and Beijing, interviewed dozens of industry insiders with more than ten years of sports marketing experience, and interpreted the international company Nike and the local Li Ning company. The success or failure of sports marketing provides the “free rider” commercial organizations with sports marketing methods and experience.

Nike has defeated the established rival Adidas only 30 years after its establishment and has been ranked first in the world. Nike China has also been widely praised by the industry for successfully planning the Liu Xiang series of activities. Nike’s way of success is not to sell shoes, only to market emotions.


Behind the rare sponsorship of sports events, Liu Xiang has become the target of countless companies since winning the first prize in the Athens Olympics. At this time, Nike employees and Liu Xiang confided in drinking and talking, because Nike as early as 2002, when Liu Xiang was still When the media was freezing, they signed an agreement with him.

At the Athens Olympics, 12 of the 32 gold medal winners of the Chinese delegation were sponsored by Nike, including breakthrough events such as kayaking and tennis. Why can only Nike gain insight into the opportunities? Nike uses its own experience to tell companies that want to leverage on the sports industry that sports marketing is not just a sponsorship, but it requires continuous innovation.

Companies sponsoring events often cost huge amounts of money. Li Ning, Shanghai GM, GM (China), Nongfu Spring, Jinliufu, Qingdao Red Collar Apparel, as the Olympic partners, each company must pay 10 million yuan in cash or products to the Chinese Olympic Committee, of which the cash must not be less Less than 90%. In contrast, Nike rarely sponsors sports events, but its brand exposure has never been less than others.


At the 1996 Atlanta Olympics, 12 companies that paid $46.5 million were named official sponsors, including Adidas. But Nike quietly bought all prominent billboards in Atlanta and made Nike’s exclusive advertising. According to a senior executive who worked at Nike, during the Olympics, Nike sponsored the swimwear for the national diving team. In fact, Nike does not produce swimwear, but it temporarily bought a factory for this. It is true that the award-winning clothing sponsored by Li Ning has also won eyeballs on the championship podium, but many media have fixed the picture on the beautiful moments of athletes jumping from the air into the water, undoubtedly Nike has the upper hand.

When it comes to brand exposure, people may be more impressed by Liu Xiang. On the second and third day of winning the gold medal, the major media kept repeating the moment when Liu Xiang won the gold medal, and the magic shoes on his feet were carefully prepared by Nike. Brand exposure is only a small part of all Nike’s work, and maintaining long-term contact with athletes is even more important.

Athlete’s perfect planning project Nike’s public relations manager Wen Liyuan originally worked at Nike headquarters. According to her, the 16 buildings of the headquarters are named after the world’s top athletes. The lobby of the office building displays photos and trophies of famous sports stars; on the walls of the promenade connecting each building are bronze statues and biographies of signed Nike athletes from various countries. “Every visitor feels that these sports stars are their lives. You often see celebrities walking around in an office building. They dine in the same restaurant as the employees; the same gym exercises, just like a family. No employee asked them to sign.” She laughed.


The employees of Nike Sports Marketing are running around on various training grounds all day long, wishing to live with the athletes. This is also an important reason why Nike can discern talents. Li Tong was a Nike track and field athlete. Because he is Liu Xiang’s fellow senior, he has been in contact with Liu Xiang a long time ago. Li Tong’s recommendation, coupled with Nike’s actual investigation, brought Liu Xiang into Nike’s field of vision.

In late May 2004, Nike invited Michael Johnson to China. Johnson felt that Liu Xiang was in a good state at that time, so Nike boldly drafted a plan based on this fact. The entire event was planned from June, and a comprehensive promotion began in late July. Through public relations and the Internet, the Chinese team started advertising 10 days before it arrived in Athens. In addition to advertising, Nike also designed Liu Xiang’s news center on Sina. After Liu Xiang won the gold medal, 30 million people went up to browse Liu Xiang’s every move.

While other companies are planning to invite Liu Xiang to endorse, Nike has already provided a platform for the national audience to fully understand Liu Xiang. And Pan Jianhua, director of Nike’s Greater China Marketing Department, said that this is just the beginning of the relationship with Liu Xiang. “Our long-term goal is to enable Liu Xiang to express a voice on behalf of Nike in 2008.

We are planning when Liu Xiang will appear in these four years. He is not a professional player. Professional players can play in the league for several months. Nike must use appropriate It’s time for him to appear, and every time he appears, he has a different story.”


Nike’s close relationship with athletes should be called Jordan. It has been 20 years since signing in 1985, and Jordan shoes have also developed to the “18th generation.” , This year Nike invited Jordan to China to present awards to the champion of the high school league. Jordan endorses Nike products, conveys the concept of basketball stars to children, encourages children, and deepens their yearning for basketball.

In fact, many companies are also sponsoring Jordan, but consumers naturally associate Jordan and Nike together. Pan Jianhua said that working at Nike for more than 10 years has an important experience, sports management takes time. “The characteristic of sports management is emotion, people’s excitement, sadness and joy, and cultivating emotion is like falling in love, which requires accumulation. Many domestic sponsorships are short-term, and this effect is almost zero because consumers are very forgetful.

Yes. If the company chooses sports related to its own image, it should be used as a long-term investment.” For example, the “Training Hall of Fame” that the company is doing now invites former world Olympic champions to coach in China every year to provide guidance for Chinese athletes. Not only the technical level but also the psychological preparation level for the competition. This is to maximize the use of the company’s existing resources.

Meaning beyond 5 seconds, a girl bought a pancake in the school cafeteria. She threw the pan out in the motion of throwing a discus, and then took a bite of the remaining pancake in her hand. This is a segment of Nike’s latest 5-second series of ads “Anytime”. This series of ads won the grand prize at the Chengdu Advertising Festival. 

Unlike Nike’s many big-hands, this advertisement has a very low cost. The background of the story is where students study and live daily. The concept that I want to convey is: sports have been integrated into your life. What does 5-second advertising mean? General companies tend to make their own image advertisements, shouting a slogan, or even repeating it three times, but Nike tells a story. Nike knows that consumers don’t feel much about a slogan or a logo, and think it has nothing to do with them.

Nike’s brand manager Xu Ying has worked for the company for 3 years. When talking about brand strategy, she has always emphasized that Nike is creating and leading a culture. What makes Nike proud is that she created a shoe culture in China. Xu Ying said that there was no shoe culture in China three years ago. China is a clothing country.


People have always paired shoes with all kinds of clothes and rarely choose shoes. Nike’s secret to creating shoe culture is to choose the right people to do the right things. At that time, there was a group of children who had returned from abroad who liked to make something underground. Nike contacted them and gave them a chance to perform in China.

Another secret of Nike’s promotion of shoe culture is to make full use of the power of the Internet. There is a shoe talk (I’m a shoe mad) forum on Sina, where netizens can tell the story of shoes and can talk about shoes of any brand.

Only when consumers accept the culture can they accept your brand fundamentally. Like American NBA or British football, it has gone far beyond the scope of competitions, and a sport has become a national carnival. “The NBA is a very systematic system that perfectly presents the factors contained in any industry of entertainment, competition, and stars in front of you.”

Pan Jianhua said. Nike is now focusing on basketball culture. The high school league in the United States is the preparatory class for the NBA, and the National High School League hosted by Nike in China is in its fourth year. This year Nike launched the “Union Concept” and proposed to be Youth Culture. Xu Ying said: “There is only one champion in basketball, but there can be many champions in Youth Culture.

It can be the best dunk, the best cartoon, or the most dazzling cheerleader. We were on the platform from the beginning. After construction and completion, we decided to start promoting culture. Only if we have the ability to influence culture can we gain popularity? We launched the warrior League’ this year. We want to tell children that not only need to have their own style but also need an alliance behind you to help you cheer, you write articles, painted posters in Shijiazhuang, Hebei has a player has organized more than 1,000 people, the internet got 5000 votes. only by identifying culture, will have a very big effect. “

During the interview at the Shanghai headquarters, I happened to see Amy from the Public Relations Department reading a high school student’s plan for league activities. Although naive, but serious. Nike employees said that when they interviewed children on the streets of Beijing, they all said that Nike really understands them. Here, what we see is that a brand really affects children, and they deeply imprint the brand when they are very young, so as to affect their lives.

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