Nike Just Does It in London

Last time, we talked about the brilliance of Dr. Dre in the product placement of his Beats headphones at this year’s Olympics. Yet, the company that many are pointing to as the gold standard in guerilla or “ambush” marketing at the 2012 summer games is one known for its uncanny ability to stand out in the wide world of sports: Nike.

Throughout its history, the Oregon-based sports product giant has been anything but shy about pushing the envelope. From groundbreaking commercials to high-profile sports sponsorships that place its famous “swoosh” logo on pro sport uniforms the world over, Nike is also known for pushing the boundaries – and London has been no exception

While Adidas and other official sponsors plunked down a cool $155 million each for four years of bragging rights, Nike put its dollars into what some are calling misleading yet bold TV commercials, which portray nameless athletes “competing” amidst a clearly London-esque backdrop.

Most notable, though has been how Nike has been able to actually integrate its brand and products into the games themselves – most notably  with its distinctive, neon-yellow Volt shoes. To be sure, the eye-catching dog envelopers have been hard to miss. According to Nike, an astounding 400 athletes have been wearing Volts – the majority of those in track and field but also in boxing and fencing. Even more amazing: As of Friday, 41 athletes had medaled wearing Volt shoes, including 43 percent of track and field medalists.

And what better athletes to give your shoes to. When all are of world-class status, chances are pretty good that they will ‘perform’ well. Remember the classic “must be the shoes” declaration of Spike Lee in the classic Nike Air Jordan spots of yesteryear? We knew better – or did we?