Friday, 10 February 2012

So who owns our athletes feet?

I'm a Londoner and it's our Olympic year this year and yes, we're already suffering from p.r. overload.

A big footwear related stink is kicking off over at the Olympics HQ over who owns our athletes feet.

Athletes have contracts with footwear suppliers which stipulates that they must wear that brand, but British athletes are required to wear Stella McCartney designed Adidas kit and this is the problem.

Nike sponsored athletes may step up to the podium barefoot to avoid breaching their contracts.

I spent several years of my career working with athletes and it was an eye opener. Athletes go for the big multi million dollar contracts, but that doesn't necessarily mean they will wear the shoes. Especially football players I've found can be superstitious about what goes on their feet, they might only wear one brand. That meant unpicking the logo on their favoured footwear and attaching the logo of the brand that pays them the sponsorship. Yes I have had to do that as a junior footwear designer. But shhhh! I didn't tell you that. No, it didn't really happen. I'm certainly not telling you which athletes were involved! No way!

Although I have to wonder, now in these days of HD tv, can this practise really go on anymore or are the interns simply being advised to stitch them more neatly?