When Nike’s ‘Just Do It’ Goes Wrong.

30 07 2011

Nike Lunar Run - 8km Challenge

(You can read my previous post on the first round of the Nike Lunar Run here.)

I’ve just come back from the Nike Lunar 8k Run Challenge and I’m trying to find a word to describe it.

Weird. Weird is the word.

Good bits first. NikeHK managed to cook up an event with a great atmosphere – green neon lights everywhere, music to get you pumping, smiling Nike staff. In terms of marketing, I think Nike pretty much nailed it.

But as a race? Nah.

The runners at tonight’s 8k race were made up of the top 6 men and women from 15 separate heats, totaling about 180 finalists in all. You’d think that because they chose the top 6 men and women from each heat, this mindset of men and women’s categories being separate would follow through to the finals. Apparently not.

I had come to the race tonight thinking that there would be prizes for the top 3 men and top 3 women respectively. But it turns out that there aren’t separate categories – men and women were all competing together for the same prizes! (It didn’t come as a surprise, then, to see men bagging all the prizes.)

It’s a bit hard to believe that anyone could have come up with the idea that men and women were to compete at the same level. The genders are fundamentally different on every single aspect of our physiological make-up. The conversation probably sounded a bit like this when they planned out the race:

Manager: Men and women will all compete in the same category.

Worker: But sir, they’re usually separated in the spirit of creating an equal playing field.

Manager: Just do it.

As much as the race was a marketing triumph, I’d say that Nike should stick to what it does best, and stay away from organising races.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 responses

31 07 2011
Ronny

Now that’s sad ! That’s why I go with Adidas … My choice of sponsor has just been justified (yet again). Sorry ’bout that Mary, but I trust that you ran the best race you’ve ever run. Keep up the good work, as you can see you can only control your own work …

31 07 2011
Laure

As long as you know for yourself you were the first woman, it’s not all lost.

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