When Yomna Khallaf, a 20 year-old Egyptian swimmer who is competing in the synchronised swimming found out that her Olympic bag had a giant Nike Logo but the zippers were marked Adidas, she tweeted her observation which caused a row between sports gear manufacturers, Nike and the Egyptian Olympic Committee and eventually, a donation of authentic items from Nike.
Part of the content of her tweet was:
“The bags for example have big Nike logo on the front and the zippers are addidas”
“Its so frustrating that we had to pay extra 2000 pounds to have other proper stuff to wear so that we can look OK not even good”
Her tweet prompted Nike to send a letter of warning to the Egyptian Olympic Committee after Ms Khallaf said their attitude had been: ‘Take this or have nothing at all.’
In response, Chairman of the Egyptian Olympic Committee Gen Mahmoud Ahmed Ali, admitted that their Chinese supplier had been giving them knockoff goods but they had to buy those because of the country’s tight finances. He added that it was ‘sufficient’ for the Egyptians and that Nike should pursue the supplier in China, not his committee.
However, according to Adly el-Shafie, the commercial director of Nike’s only agent and distributor in Egypt, the Egyptian officials accepted the bid from an unauthorized vendor at half the price.
Nike noted that it “consistently acts to protect its brand and actively engages with law enforcement agencies and Customs authorities to stop counterfeit product reaching consumers and athletes.”
The implication is that if the bags are fake, then the shoes, clothes and their entire gear would be fake too.
Her discovery is currently causing a buzz at the Olympics as Nike has said it has little tolerance for counterfeit products reaching athletes at such a world class event.
To prove their point, they have replaced the counterfeit products with original ones. The Egyptian athletes recieved donations of free sports gear from Nike to quell the rage of the athletes and improve their company’s image. As they said in an email “Our main priority is to provide athletes with authentic Nike product.”
I guess its a win-win situation for Nike and the athletes. The athletes got their authentic sports gear and Nike now has an improved reputation among athletes at the Olympics.
Sources: CNN | Daily Mail | NBC