According to Dean Stoyer, US media relations director at Nike, the company proposed the change based on ongoing conversations with the athletes. He told PRWeek that it will not affect the terms of the sponsorship or Nike’s communications strategy. However, he did say “we feel we need to be up front, address it, and be clear” in one-on-one conversation.
“While it has an impact on our position with swimming innovation today, we never rest on our laurels. If anything, it’s more of a wakeup,” said Stoyer.
He explained that the situation had been reversed at the Athens games, when Nike launched breakthrough technology that prompted ten swimmers who were not sponsored by Nike to wear the Nike suit and break records.
On the other side of the pool, Craig Brommers, VP of marketing at Speedo, said, “This just give the [Speedo] story more legs.”