Adidas Stole Nike's Olympics Apparel Strategy And Is Using It At The Masters

adidas masters shirt 2013

Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, and Sergio Garcia all wore the same shirt in the first round of the Masters yesterday.

It wasn’t a coincidence, it was a calculated move by Adidas. And it came from Nike.

At last summer’s Olympics, Nike decided to paint the shoes of 400 track athletes electric green. Nike wasn’t an official Olympics sponsor, but by having so many athletes where the same retina-burning shoe, they got themselves a ton of attention.

It was impossible to watch the Olympics last summer and not notice that all these athletes were wearing wild shoes that clashed with the rest of their uniforms. 

Ad Age’s Shareen Pathak wrote about the strategy last summer, and explained:

“Painting Nike’s Flyknit shoe Volt, as that vivid neon-green-meets-highlighter-yellow colour is called, was [Nike creative director Martin] Lotti’s way to create a kind of ‘Team Nike.’ Before London 2012, the brand matched the colour of the shoe to the colour of the individual athlete’s uniforms. It looked pretty, but it blended in. This year, hundreds of athletes across different national federations wore the same colour, what Mr. Lotti called ‘the easiest way’ to make a splash.”

They looked like this:

nike olympics shoes

Adidas is doing the same exact thing (albeit on a smaller scale) this week at the Masters.

By putting Johnson, Day, and Garcia in the same shirt, they are creating a “Team Adidas.” Like Nike did at the Olympics, they’ve created a marketing opportunity out of uniformity. Instead of marketing three different Adidas looks through three different golfers, they’re marketing one.

Even though there’s an element of silliness in three guys where the same thing, people are definitely noticing.

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