Recently, with my kids getting involved in martial arts training at one of the Brownsville Karate Schools, I’ve noticed a new major player in the martial arts and it’s not any single person, but a brand…..Nike.
It’s funny because much of the sparring gear used by my kids and many other students from what I’ve seen at competitions carry an Adidas logo so my assumption would naturally be that Adidas is the primary sponsor for martial arts. However, I’ve seen nike make it’s way into the industry with some items such as training shoes and uniforms as well. Not as big an impact as Adidas but I think they are testing the waters at this point.
I think Nike making a push into the martial arts world is a relatively good push being that Adidas has dominated the industry with it’s products and more importantly, not to mention it’s prices. Hopefully, with the introduction of Nike and possibly other players to the sport, the pricing wars will begin and we will see a reduction in cost of apparel and equipment in the such martial sports like Taekwondo and Judo both of which are official Olympic sports.
It is surprising and now that I think about it, quite unusual that Nike and other sports brands like UnderArmor did not hop onto the martial arts bandwagon like Adidas has. I guess that would be the reason Adidas has dominated for so long.
But now with the increased popularity in mixed martial arts also known as MMA, Nike seems to have found it’s home in the martial side of sports. UFC, being the #1 MMA organizer, can be seen placing Nike logos all over the ring and on much of the brand attire they sell. But wait! Monster drinks and even the UFC are jumping on the branding wagon slowly pushing Nike aside.
So what does nike have to do to remain a player? My guess would be to stop sponsoring all those million dollar athletes who end up getting in trouble and getting dropped by Nike and focus on the low hanging fruit and see what come from that investment.