Nike tests adidas with 'London' spot

Nike has revealed a global brand campaign that features amateur athletes from places around the world called London, challenging the official Olympic sponsor adidas.

The ad is set to launch on TV in the UK and 24 other countries on Friday (27 July), the same day as the Opening Ceremony. It features the strapline, 'Find Your Greatness'.

Nike has posted the ad to YouTube, with the description: "Greatness isn't reserved for the chosen few in one special city, it can also be found in London, Ohio, and London, Norway, and East London, South Africa, and Little London, Jamaica, and Small London, Nigeria and the London Hotel and London Road and anywhere else someone is trying to find it."

The ad is likely to be seen as a prime example of ambush marketing, though Nike claimed it was not breaking any rules.

A Nike spokesman said the ad had been submitted to and cleared by TV ad clearance body Clearcast. He added that "all relevant and necessary rules and regulations" had been adhered to, when questioned on the brand’s marketing theme, use of athletes and proximity to the Olympics, while not being an official sponsor.

UK-specific work also includes an aggressive outdoor campaign in London featuring British athletes, which aims to celebrate the sports stars that have taken part in Nike’s events throughout 2012.

The Nike ads have "taken over" Oxford Circus and Picadilly Circus tubes, among others, supported by digital outdoor work across the city.

Wieden & Kennedy created the above the line work, while the UK outdoor work has been created by remix Southamerica, Argentina.

Gino Fisanotti, marketing director, Nike UK & Ireland, said: "We understand that it's not just the championship athlete who aspires to push their limits. Everyday athletes have their own goals and ambitions and this is the inspiration behind the 'Find Your greatness' campaign.

"The campaign celebrates the sporting potential of every athlete across the globe and here in the UK we decided to really showcase what that means on a local level.

"That’s why we approached many of our young athlete communities, our goal being to find athletes with real, meaningful and relevant stories of Greatness.

"All of which had to have one thing in common. They had to be stories with the potential to inspire many others in London and beyond to be the best they could be and play and love sport more.

"The campaign is the latest part of the nine-month-long #makeitcount campaign, which has been inspiring UK athletes, at every level, to be the best they can be via amazing product innovations like the Nike+ FuelBand, services like Nike+, and incredible consumer and retail experiences such as the recent FuelFest at Battersea Power Station and the Nike+ FuelStation at Boxpark."

Adidas, which is the official sportswear partner of London 2012 and Team GB, has already released an Olympic-themed campaign encouraging consumers to 'Take The Stage'.

Start Your Free 30-Day Free Trial

Get the very latest news and insight from Campaign with unrestricted access to, plus get exclusive discounts to Campaign events.

Become a subscriber


Don’t miss your daily fix of breaking news, latest work, advice and commentary.

register free