The public face of Under Armour sportswear has made the ultimate sponsor faux pas – appearing on the cover of the latest Sports Illustrated wearing Nike gear.
Michael Phelps is paid millions in sponsorship dollars by Under Armour and is considered the “crown jewel” in its marketing. However, in his cover shoot alongside swimmer Katie Ledecky and gymnast Simone Biles, Phelps is wearing Nike track pants.
No-one knows how this happened. One theory is that the US Olympic team is sponsored by Nike, hence the logo on Phelps’ pants. The other theory is everybody plain forgot.
To his credit, Phelps is (reportedly) wearing Under Armour trainers, although they can’t be seen in the actual shoot. He’s also wearing a T-shirt that appears to be Ted Baker.
It’s a marketing coup for Nike. “This will go on the wall at Nike,” Rick Burton, a former U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) chief marketing officer told media site Bloomberg. “Under Armour must be going wild behind closed doors.”
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