Going for the Gold

Posted on August 14, 2008

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There was a lot of hype heading into the Summer games about what Olympic athletes would be wearing and the gear they'd be using to help them win shiny gold medals in Beijing.  There's no better way to market to a Gen XYZer than to have a dolphin-man swimming faster than anyone in history in your swimsuit.  So, Michael Phelps is great news all around for Speedo – except that his goggles keep leaking. 

Olympic commentators are now so starved for things to talk about (they've already said he's fast), that they've moved on to how Phelps' goggles are leaking.  There's a story in AdAge today and also one in the Washington Post about what that means for Speedo. 

What's funny to me is that the Speedo spokesperson is blowing this off in interviews.  She was quoted as saying, "Mr. Phelps uses a different pair of goggles forevery race, and it was possible he hadn't tightened them properly…Gold medalist "Dara Torres is still wearing the same pair ofSpeedo goggles from 15 years ago," she said. "So they are not oftenfaulty."

I know they're really focused on how to market that swimsuit over there, but we're talking about real people.  Am I going to buy your $550 swimsuit?  No (of course I understand there are a lot of people that will).  But, would I maybe buy your $30 goggles?  Yes, absolutely (but not if they leak).  If Speedo really wants to sell this swimmer something, they shouldn't try to tell me that the fastest swimmer in the entire world doesn't know how to tighten his goggles correctly.  Um, if he can't do it… how am I going to figure it out?

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