Thursday, October 4, 2007

Lesson to CEOs: Chicago Marathon Shoe Sponsor Changing in 2008

The Chicago Marathon will change shoe sponsors in 2008.

New Balance has been the marathon sponsor for as long as I can remember. Well...New Balance corporate has a new CEO (Chief Executive Officer). When the marathon went to him they asked, "Would you like to renew your exclusive sponsorship of the Chicago Marathon?" His response..."Let me think about it." Now, in my opinion...I don't even know anyone who buys New Balance shoes unless they got them at the marathon or won them as a pacer for doing their job and running the right pace.
So while New Balance is "THINKING IT OVER" enter Nike. (Not known for it's patience or for penny pinching.)

Nike gets the same call. "New Balance is reconsidering its sponsorship of the marathon. Would you..." Nike, "We'd love to sponsor the Chicago Marathon and be the official shoe. Is X amount of money about right?"

In 2008, Nike will be the official shoe of the Chicago Marathon. New Balance is like the Coyote in a Bugs Bunny cartoon...wondering what went wrong. Next...look for the sponsor to be "Bank of America Chicago Marathon"...but that hasn't been leaked yet.

So CEOs and so called "leadership" of companies everywhere...beware. Your competition may be closer than it appears in your mirror! My response....I wonder if New Balance is reconsidering their multi-million dollar compensation package for their new CEO? What is the "over under" on him being fired? ...or should I say, "pursuing interests outside of New Balance." Nice going.

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