Simi crushed it finishing 3rd in the skeleton event in Lake Placid today. Why is this important? Skeleton is a sport many people haven’t heard of, let alone watched. The Winter Olympics isn’t nearly as visible as the Summer Olympics. However, sports are often about the narratives created. Yesterday Nike shared Simi’s story and I found it incredible:
I of course tied the story back into a discussion on organic marketing, but I also stressed the importance of emotion and Simidele’s story has tons of emotion. Athlete pursues a dream of making the Olympics in Track and Field. Athlete falls short and gives up on the dream. Athlete is inspired by a team of upstart African bobsledders at the age of 36 when most athletes are hanging up their competitive shoes. Athlete can’t join the bobsled team, and decides to try a Winter Olympic sport she’s never tried. She has less than six months to qualify for the Olympics. Instead of giving up, she fights and in the last event, the day before the cut off for qualifications she nails a 3rd place finish. What’s the result? This amazing post from her on Instagram and a story that Nike can utilize to reach out to women with sportswear.
There is a catch… Simidele is a Nike athlete. Under Armour sponsors the Nigerian team. This is what is called a marketing conundrum. For Nike to tell the story they will not be able to use shots featuring the Under Armour uniform. They will have to craft her narrative around their footwear and apparel. While I know we should be celebrating an amazing accomplishment of being the first female African Skeleton competitor in the Olympics, I can’t help to look closely at what will happen in marketing. Will Nike consider the sport and event niche and overlook it as Under Armour continues to do, or can we expect a campaign since we are so close to Black History Month (yeah I know she’s African… just go with it)?
Enough of that… congratulations Simidele, slay sister, sleigh.
Hello Pyeongchang! I successfully completed my 5th qualifying race with a 3rd place finish! I’m looking forward to representing @bsfnigeria & becoming the first female African Skeleton athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics. Dreams do come true! Yoruba: 🎶Were loba mi se (2X) Ohun ti mo ro wipe ko seese Were loba mi se 🎶 English Translation: He did it effortlessly for me (2X) What I thought was impossible He did it effortlessly for me THANK YOU JESUS for this amazing blessing & plan for my life! 🙏🏾#historyinthemaking #breakingbarriers #watchmework 📸@candicewardphotography