Left Menu
Development News Edition

Nike can gain from Vaporfly shoe controversy - analysts

Nike can gain from Vaporfly shoe controversy - analysts
Image Credit: Wikimedia

Debate over Nike's Vaporfly shoes that some say give runners an unfair technological advantage may actually help the world's largest athletic apparel company sell more shoes, analysts said on Thursday. A working group at governing body World Athletics has been examining for months what to do about the hyper-advanced footwear, used by elite runners Kenya's Eliud Kipchoge and Brigid Kosgei in stunning performances last year.

Competing media reports this week have claimed, without giving sources, that it will either issue a wholesale ban on the shoes or take more limited measures to deal with the carbon plate and foam sole technology it uses to aid runners. Debate has raged among athletes and commentators on Twitter and other social media sites about whether the shoes should be allowed and if a ban could be implemented effectively beyond heavily-monitored elite racing.

The publicity may only benefit Nike's bottom line. "Controversy is good for sales," said Matt Powell, senior sports industry adviser at NPD Group.

"Nike has not made a lot of pairs here, so (there is) no real financial impact. Amateur runners can still run in these shoes." Kipchoge, who wore Vaporflys when he ran the first sub-two-hour marathon in Vienna last October, told the Telegraph on Wednesday that wearing the shoes was "fair" and that the sport should embrace such technological advances.

Nike says on its website that the shoe, which retails at around $250, has "a built-in secret weapon". It did not respond to requests for comment on Thursday. Shares in the Oregon-based firm were up 0.5%, while those in rivals Under Armour and Skechers USA gained about 1.5%. Japan's Asics Corp earlier closed up 2.5%.

Independent studies have concluded that the shoes, which have a curved, carbon-fiber plate embedded in a thick layer of lightweight foam, improve metabolic efficiency by 4%, though that does not necessarily mean a runner will be 4% faster. Nike, which aims to sell $50 billion worth of sportswear this year, capitalized in the 1980s on the controversy around Michael Jordan wearing red and black sneakers which violated the NBA's "predominantly white" rules.

Nike put black censor bars over the sneakers in TV ads and later re-launched its Air Jordan 1 shoes in a "banned" edition. The brand went on to become a billion dollar business. "On the surface, banning a shoe for providing exceptional performance wouldn't mar Nike's reputation," said Carol Spieckerman, president of retail consultancy Spieckerman Retail.

"The controversy could easily increase general sales for the Vaporfly."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Download The Devdiscourse News App for Latest News.



WEF2020: Trump seems politically correct in pulling out from Paris Agreement

If the survey of the World Economic Forum WEF is believed, Trump seems to enjoy the confidence of his people in flaying climate intuitions and climate activists. His preference for economic development over environmental protection not only...

From home to healthcare, here are Robotic innovations transforming lives

Lovot is equipped with more than 50 sensors such as thermography, microphone array, obstacle detection, and touch sensor to generate motion and emotions in real-time....

Translating words to deeds: Achieving gender parity in access to financial resources

... ...

SDG13: How you can reduce global warming by changing your food habits

The mega narratives of various international organizations give the impression that fighting global warming is only a job of government agencies. However, the European Investment Bank EIB has designed a questionnaire which besides making th...


Latest News

Dehradun: Two Civil engineers caught red-handed while accepting bribe

The Central Bureau of Investigation CBI on Wednesday arrested two officials of Research and Development RD department in Dehradun while they were allegedly demanding a bribe of Rs 40,000 and Rs 20,000 each from the complainant, police said....

Ranji: Sarfaraz's 300 helps Mumbai take first-innings lead

Staying true to his words, young Sarfaraz Khan stuck his maiden triple 100 to single-handedly give Mumbai the crucial first-innings lead and grab three points on the last day of their Elite Group B Ranji Trophy match against Uttar Pradesh h...

Maharashtra retains Khelo India Youth Games champions trophy

Maharashtra retained Khelo India Youth Games champions trophy with a rich collection of 256 medals, including 78 gold, leaving Haryana to draw consolation from their 200-medal haul as the celebration of sports for the nations youth came to ...

Khelo India Youth Games conclude with colourful closing ceremony, Maharashtra champions

The third edition of the Khelo India Youth Games came to a close on Wednesday with a glitzy ceremony, with Maharashtra being adjudged as the champion team with 256 medals, including 78 gold. During the 13-day sporting extravaganza, Maharash...

Give Feedback