So a couple weeks ago, I came upon the following article.
This article asks the question of how Oregon became a top caliber football program. They are no where near a major market, are not located in a heavily talented area of high schools, and were, well let’s face it, pretty much terrible on the field. However, the article has a great quote.
The football Ducks of Oregon are something new. They didn’t get people to watch because they got good. They got good because they got people to watch. They are college sports’ undisputed champions of the 21st century’s attention economy.
It goes on to talk about how sporting events is a huge area filled with possibilities for advertising. Sports is in the center of consumerism and so called “attention economy.” Nike understood this and took off with it. Starting in 1994, Nike has used Oregon to advertise all of its products, and more so, its BRAND.
“Nike is not a production company,” Robert Goldman and Stephen Papson wrote in Nike Culture: The Sign of the Swoosh. It “designs, develops and markets the branded goods.”
And now it’s 2011, and Under Armour has just started to understand this, launching eye catching and conversation starter uniforms.
I’m not sure if Adidas is slow to the party, or if they’ve decided to take a different approach. They are the more traditional brand. Letting their equipment’s abilities speak for themselves.
But back to the Ducks. The brand created by the uniforms and new culture of the Ducks has attracted top notch players from somewhere as different as Texas and Florida.
“The uniforms are awesome,” he said in 2008 when he was asked why he wanted to go all the way to the Pacific Northwest to play football.
Like LeGarrette Blount, from Perry, Florida
“I loved the uniforms,” he said before the 2010 Rose Bowl, “and then I got to know more about Oregon.”
OR LaMichael James, from Texarkana, Texas.
Somebody at Nike should be patted on the back, and of course Uncle Phil.