Thursday, March 1, 2007

Nike cricket ad

Got this link from a colleague at work. Nike's latest cricket ad running in India.

Runs for about 2 mins, and there is no mention about Nike until the very end. It brings out the cricket obsession in India, a sport in which we have achieved something, relatively. Personally, I think the whole scene is a bit contrived and silly. Try it in reality and you are asking to get whacked if you break a dada's windshield with some pseudo-stylo shot.

Nike and Adidas have been in India for around 10 years, at least. But only with the recent economic boom, more and more people can afford these brands. When I left India for Singapore in 1999, the best selling Nike was their lowest priced model which cost Rs 1000 (=US$20 = S$40). That was one really ugly shoe :-). But now Nike has paid around 38 mill US$ for a 5-year sponsorship of the Indian cricket team. And they will be spending multiples of that on marketing.

It should be noted that Indian shoe factories do the manufacturing for well-known western brands. Around 1999, Liberty Shoes was a major local brand in sporting footwear. And of course we also have the Indian version of Timberland - Woodland Shoes :-). I guess some enterprising Indian living abroad realized the potential of cloning the concept of high-priced loafers. Woodland has been very successful and has branched out into overpriced clothing etc etc.

Lets hope local brands provide worthwhile competition. You cannot out-advertise Nike and Adidas. But you can definitely compete based on innovation. This is what ASICS has done. They make great running shoes. And the strategy is paying off. I will be getting an ASICS next time, instead of my current overpriced S$150 Adidas.

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