Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Somewhere a Nike marketing executive is being fired.

What a colossal F-up.
You run a race under the guise of empowering women, an everyday woman wins the race and you refuse to award her the first prize because she didn't register as elite?
A race where you could run in your own backyard and still be a part of the race so you could reach out to regular women.

Great job. You had the next best thing to Subway's Jared. A marketing boon. Manna from heaven and you completely dropped the ball Nike.

You, a company named after the goddess of victory, refused to give the rightful winner first prize. Not only did you give up possibly the best marketing opportunity short of the super bowl, you handled it so badly people are actually pissed at you.

Oh and to the argument that it wouldn't be fair to the elites? BS. Start everyone together then. And if they would have run faster if they knew they had competition, BS to that too. Really? You could have run 11 minutes faster? Right. And if you could have run faster, you should have run faster. It's your job. Not to mention, respect the race and leave it all out on the course.

And please explain to me how someone who doesn't have a pro card should have signed up as an elite. That's what I thought.

Guess which shoes I won't be buying and which race I won't be running.


Apparently someone is awake over there. No word on whether she'll score prize money too, but it's a step in the right direction.
Nike is back off my Christmas List, we'll talk about the sweatshop thing another day.

From Runner's World:
* The San Francisco Chronicle's editorial page calls for Nike to "Award the real winner."*

It's official: Nike has dubbed O'Connell "a winner." Here's the official statement...Nike is announcing today that it recognizes Arien O'Connell as a winner in last weekend’s Nike Women’s Marathon completing the full race in 2:55:11. She shattered her previous time and achieved an amazing accomplishment.Arien will receive the same recognition and prize, including a Tiffany & Co. trophy, the full marathon elite group winner received. Arien was unfortunately not immediately recognized as a race winner because she did not start the race with the elite running group, which is required by USATF standards. Because of their earlier start time, the runners in the elite group had no knowledge of the outstanding race Arien was running and could not adjust their strategies accordingly. Learning from the unique experience in this year’s race, Nike has decided today to eliminate the elite running group from future Nike Women's Marathons. Next year, all runners will run in the same group and all will be eligible to win. Nike has a proven track record of supporting athletes and we’re proud to be able to honor Arien and other athletes who surpass their goals and achieve great accomplishments.


Thinnmann said...

TOTALLY - Great post!

21stCenturyMom said...

There was no prize money but she is getting a Tiffany trophy and the 1st Place title. The problem is that you cannot just register as an elite - it is by invitation only. If you read the race FAQ it says the prizes go to the top 3 men and women. Nike didn't have a leg to stand on for this one.

I'm glad she gets her day.

Triathed said...

Several years ago at Diamondman Triathlon, a half ironman event, Ken Glah was beat by an age grouper who started several minutes behind the pro field. The age grouper won the race and was given the trophy. Ken said that since no one had passed him he kind of coasted towards the end and congratulated the age grouper on beating him. Best time wins regardless of when you start.

Nike has messed up even more by only partially recognizing the real winner. Generally the pros or elites are allowed to start sooner so they don't have to push their way through age groupers who may start real fast and then fade. The winner is still the lowest elapsed chip time, which may not always be the person who crosses the finish line first.