How did Nike Steal The Olympics?

The Olympic Games have always been a fantastic opportunity for brands to increase their global visibility. Many businesses have paid thousands of dollars to be associated with the Games over the years, claiming that no other event in the world offers the same combination of worldwide exposure and positive values advocacy.

Official sponsors did not offer some of the most notable endorsements of the 2012 Olympic Games. Αn example is Nike, a sportswear company that, while not being an official sponsor of the London 2012 Olympic Games, received worldwide attention for its innovative use of social media and marketing strategies while most of the world still associates it with the Olympic Games of 2012, rather than Adidas, which actually was an official sponsor.


Let’s take a look at Nike’s "Find Your Greatness" Campaign!

Nike launched an independent campaign in 25 countries on the day of the opening ceremony. The campaign was named "Find Your Greatness,". The online film showcased everyday people and former Olympians participating in a variety of sports activities in a number of places across the world, all named London. East London in South Africa, Little London in Jamaica, London in Ohio in the United States, and a health club called London Gym are among the locations for the advertisement. The Olympic Games host was left from the list.


To protect sponsors and avoid ambush tactics, [Ambush marketing:  ‘Ambush marketing is a term used to describe a practice by which a rival company tries to associate its products with an event that already has official sponsors’], London has enacted strict rules. Advertisements including Olympians, mention of the London Games, and images related to the Olympic rings were all prohibited for non-official sponsors.

As a result, the commercial ad was thoroughly checked by Clearcast, the …. in charge of evaluating TV ads to guarantee they do not violate the Advertising Standards Authority's advertising code.

Nike UK added to its international campaign, has included local activities such as outdoor and print promotion. The poster campaign will consist of nine separate adverts showcasing athletes from different areas of sports and will be displayed in key positions throughout London, including all billboards in Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus, as well as one on Old Street.

olympic-pic-2 (2)

Nike released videos showing personal greatness stories, and the conversation continued on social media with hashtags like #findgreatness and #makeitcount. Nike's ads run with taglines including "Greatness doesn't only exist in SW19," a reference to Wimbledon, which is hosting the Olympic tennis tournament; "Greatness doesn't need its own anthem" and "greatness doesn't need a stadium".

Brand chief Greg Hoffman, attempting to create an unofficial link between the US sports giant's campaign and the Olympics mentioned, "The idea is to simply inspire and energize everyday athletes everywhere and to celebrate their achievements, participate and enjoy the thrill of achieving in sport at their own level."

They really took it one step further…

What also Nike did was strategically ensured that a large number of athletes wore Nike footwear. Despite the fact that Nike was not an official sponsor, managed to avoid breaking the Olympic rules by having athletes remove the logo when they were in the stadium. Nike products were mostly seen outdoors.

Last but not least, they also had every product seen throughout the games and they were available in stores. In this way, Nike makes it simple for everybody to discover their own greatness and share their story in public.



Find Your Greatness London Nike 2012 - Motivational

Nike Find Your Greatness - Great Ads


Fay Xanthopoulou

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