Personal Finance

Nike's Wild Marathon Goal Gets Back to the Company's Competitive Roots


Image source: Nike.

This certainly won't be a cheap challenge for Nike -- it's asking these athletes to skip major work competitions with huge cash bonuses, likely compensating them well for the ask. Nike is also employing a team of "world-class experts across biomechanics, coaching, design, engineering, materials development, nutrition, and sports psychology and physiology."

There are risks as well. Nike sponsored Eliud Kipchoge during the 2015 Berlin Marathon, and even though Kipchoge won the event, he missed the world record after his Nike shoes fell apart during the race -- the insoles of the shoes completely dislodged and flopped behind him while he ran across the finish line. Other than very public glitches with test products, there's the risk that Nike doesn't complete the goal and opens itself up to public defeat. Still, Nike says, "The only real failure would be to not attempt such an audacious goal."

While casual sportswear is certainly a massive market opportunity, Nike made its name by offering the most impressive technical gear on the market. Completing this goal will certainly prove that to still be true, and it would be the kind of win that could put Nike at the forefront as the brand of serious performance wear, something that would take Nike back to its roots.

Completing its Breaking2 challenge alone doesn't make Nike stock worth investing in. The company will certainly face increased competition in the coming years from Under Armour and Adidas, as well as a host of other brands seeking to grow in this space who view Nike as the behemoth to out-innovate. That's why this move by Nike to reinforce its position as one of the most innovative and performance-driven brands in sports is such an encouraging move for long-term Nike stock bulls.

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Seth McNew owns shares of Nike and Under Armour (C Shares). The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Nike, Under Armour (A Shares), and Under Armour (C Shares). Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days . We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy .

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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