Nike athletes are preparing for a battle that is straight out of a literary discussion: Man vs Himself. It’s a theme that requires an analysis of how people have to overcome a situation to gain insight into their souls. A marathon is possibly the most difficult sporting event in the world. No one has ever run 26.1 miles in less than 2 hours. Nike has taken engineering athletic performance to an unforeseen level. It’s a far cry from the Men of Oregon bleeding on the track at Hayward Field.
Nike’s Breaking2 should be one of the most discussed events in sports, but it really hasn’t been discussed on television in a major way. There are articles on the web, but it seems that this is an event that hasn’t driven the next generation towards learning more about running and fitness. This generation knows more American Ninja Warriors than they do Olympians. Marathon runners have never been very high profile, but the sport at certain times will ignite interest.
Teammates Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan in the Nike Zoom Vaporfly 4% at the Rio marathon trials in Los Angeles. Cragg won, Flanagan took third.
Nike athletes Amy Cragg and Shalane Flanagan have given the new Vaporfly 4% System glowing reviews and their performances are backing up their claims, but the discussion isn’t on sneaker websites at all. The discussion about the project and shoes is taking place on running websites, but unlike when Nike was launched in the 70s people aren’t taking up running because of the excitement of technology, or the in the hope of losing weight.
The shoes on the outside look nothing like how traditional marathon shoes have been designed. They look like bulky HokaOneOne or Skechers cushioned runners. They aren’t going to necessarily transition into fashion as the shoes look like performance runners. Nike has never really been a company that focused on fashion first. They have always been about the athletes and the brands’ laser focus usually results in the average person becoming engaged in the sport where they are making their latest advancements known.
The echo chamber is silent. Young people aren’t being drawn to Breaking2. There aren’t a ton of tweets and there isn’t a surge in running by any age group. It seems that everyday people aren’t interested or hearing about Breaking2 or the Vaporfly 4% system and in the long run this could be a huge problem for Nike. The company that created performance footwear as we know it is entering a time where it’s harder to keep the attention of potential runners.
Does anyone hear Nike athletes touting the benefits of the Vaporfly 4% System? No… and that should sound the alarm for the Swoosh.