Ambush Marketer Nike Strikes Again At Olympics

Print Ad Featuring U.K. Marathoner Paula Radcliffe Runs Right After She Pulls Out Of Race

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Ambush marketer Nike continues to think on its feet during the Olympics, and has created a fast turnaround ad featuring Paula Radcliffe, the great British marathon hope, who has pulled out of Sunday's Olympic race due to a foot injury.

A print ad featuring Ms. Radcliffe holding the Union Jack aloft and bearing the words, "Legends run forever," celebrates the runner's spirit -- and reclaim her as a Nike athlete. She pulled out of the marathon on July 29, while she was still bound by International Olympic Rules preventing her from promoting her association with any brands that are not Olympic sponsors.

The image from the Nike ad, which ran in London's Evening Standard newspaper, was first tweeted by Nike on July 29 -- immediately after Ms. Radcliffe announced she would not run -- with the hashtag #findgreatness. It was enthusiastically retweeted among running enthusiasts before Nike placed it in paid media Aug. 1.

Nike has worked with Ms. Radcliffe, who holds the world record for the woman's marathon, and has won the London and New York City marathons three times since 2000.

When asked if Nike had any similar ads ready to run, a spokesman said that the company does not share future marketing plans.

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