Marketing Communications Backfiring

libbyNow i’m the first to admit i find the whole professional swimsuit debate incredible. To my understanding world records are being broken because of the advantage for those swimmers not under contract by wearing full polyurethane suits. A couple of weeks ago FINA, the sport’s international governing body, announced that it would have a full set of rules in place by January 1 2010. FINA has muted that among other things it will outlaw most of these suits, the very suits that have set the majority of the 35 world records at last month’s World Championships in Rome.
So now we have Polyurethane World Records and non-polyurethane world records? Could ‘PB’ morph from Personal Best to become Polyurethane Best?
Can you imagine the climate at Speedo as headlines such as this appear? “Outdated swim suit delivers bronze.” Here’s a case of brand strategy backfiring. From their site The world’s leading swimwear brand, Speedo® is passionate about life in and around the water, creating revolutionary new technologies, designs and innovations.
Speedo has been synonymous with swimming for decades and i’m sure will continue to be. When world class, massively high profile, swimmers such as Michael Phelps and Libby Trickett are deemed to be disadvantaged by wearing Speedo suits however it must like a smack in the face with a wet fish. Brand strategy gone wrong.

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