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Published
Jun 8, 2017
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Cristiano Ronaldo wears Adidas in Nike ad

Published
Jun 8, 2017

Nike released an ad this weekend with a picture of a young Cristiano Ronaldo wearing an Adidas top, an image that Nike edited to place its Swoosh where Adidas' logo originally was.


The image shows a young Ronaldo standing behind a net wearing a black jersey. It was posted on Nike's social media channels with the caption "Nobody believed a boy from Madeira would make it to the stars. Except the boy from Madeira."

Ronaldo himself also tweeted out the image using Nike's Just Do It as his caption.

Controversy ensued when fans and consumers familiar with the picture of young Ronaldo pointed out that Ronaldo was actually wearing an Adidas jersey in the original photo. Nike in fact cropped out the Adidas logo and replaced it with the Swoosh and copy "This Boy Knew".

The ad was released on social media following Saturday's Champions League final where Ronaldo scored two times. Ronaldo is a Nike athlete who the company uses to market its Mercurial soccer boot, one of the key silos in its soccer footwear assortment.

While Nike generally leads marketing efforts across fashion and sport, Adidas is undoubtedly enjoying the free publicity it is getting by its major competitor.

As Nike was recently revealed to be the most popular fashion brand on Instagram, this post leaves consumer wondering if Nike knew what it was doing as part of a new self-effacing marketing strategy.

Nike recently appeared to shoot itself in the foot with a study that revealed that compression apparel does not actually improve performance. While Nike can recover from that study, it is curious if the impetus behind the study was to attack competition.

The fact that Nike used an old Ronaldo photo in which he wore an Adidas shirt seems more strategic than might initially translate over social media.



 

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