Friday, June 27, 2008


The real showdown at the Olympics this year comes down to two main competitors: Nike vs. Adidas.

You have to hand it to They've totally reinvented their image and the content on their site to appeal to a more youthful audience. This is why I started subscribing to their newsletters six months ago. For all of you who have yet to notice the Forbes reinvention, you may have missed today's awesome article: "Sneaker Wars! The Olympics: It's All About The Shoes."

Cause, seriously, isn't it always about the shoes anyways? If you thought Sarah Jessica Parker was obsessed with shoes in Sex In The City, then you haven't spent much time around athletes or the male population in general (see: Turtle on Entourage), which is why this article is genius.

The real question is: What shoe do you prefer?

Here's a preview of the story or for the full version click here:

The Sneaker Wars
The Olympics: It's All About The Shoes

By: Tom Van Riper

Athletes competing at this summer's Olympics are fighting for a trip to the medal stand. For Nike and Adidas, the Beijing games are a brawl for 21st century dominance of the sneaker world.

While every Olympics is a dogfight for the longtime rivals, this year's games are a bigger deal. Beijing's the doorway into a vast new market. There are 2.6 billion feet in China, most of them without sneakers. Both companies expect the country to be its second-largest market, after the U.S., within a few years. "It's the ultimate land grab," says Swangard. "There's been no other Olympic year in this kind of growing market."

For Adidas (other-otc: ADDDY.PK - news - people ), it's especially important. After an ill-fated 2005 deal for Reebok failed to juice Adidas' results, the three stripes finds itself increasingly marginalized by the swoosh. Adidas sees this summer's Beijing Olympics as a way to make up ground.


But while referees and staff will be running around Beijing in their Adidas, the bulk of the athletes getting attention will be competing in their Nike gear--and getting most of the air time, both live during the games and in all the follow-up photos and video to be viewed for years to come.

As Smit puts it: "A high jumper will have a Nike shirt on while jumping, then an Adidas shirt when receiving a medal on the stand. Which would you rather have?"