Brand Owner: Nike
Date: July 2006
Media Agency: MindShare
Other Agencies: Wieden & Kennedy, E-Vision
Media Channels: Mobile, print, out-of-home
Sometimes media is as much about being fast as it is about being strategic, and this is an example of taking a quick reaction to the limit. Speedy placement is always triggered by an event, and in this case it was Liu Xiang, the Chinese 110-meter hurdler, breaking his own world record in Lausanne, Switzerland.
Liu is to China and the 2008 Beijing Olympics what Cathy Freeman was to Sydney and Australia in 2000 -- only bigger -- so this was a big deal.
Liu has been sponsored by Nike since 2002, and the response from the Nike team was almost immediate. The record was broken at 4 a.m. Shanghai time on July 12. That same day, banner ads appeared on Sina's sports channel, and a big banner appeared on the side of the Aurora skyscraper in Shanghai.
Ads appeared the next day on TV and on the front pages of major titles such as the Beijing Morning Post and the Oriental Sports Daily in Shanghai.
Liu arrived back in Beijing the afternoon of July 13 wearing a T-shirt bearing the new world-record time, 12.88, generating more PR through national and sports TV, print and online coverage.
By July 14, more major outdoor had been added to the mix, and employees in Shanghai and Beijing Nike stores also were wearing 12.88 T-shirts.
This would have been a big story anyway, but swift work from Nike and its agencies ensured that everyone knew about Liu's achievement, as well as the brand's support for the star athlete.
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