Sunday, November 30, 2008

Craig Lord writes an article for the 'Times Online' regarding 'Adidas' threatening to leave the swimsuit market.

Update, I jumped on the Craig to hard but to his credit the article has been amended.

Congratulations to Craig Lord! but his over-simplification of the TYR versus USA Swimming lawsuit is simply biased.

He writes: "...TYR, which spent three years and several million dollars developing its Tracer Rise suit, filed an antitrust lawsuit in California in May, accusing Speedo, USA Swimming and its national team head coach Mark Schubert (who said in support of the LZR that swimmers had a “black-and-white decision: the money or the medal”) of conspiring to block competition...." [Link]

He does not mention that Stu Isaac*, the director of marketing for Speedo, has confirmed that Schubert is paid to endorse Speedo. Hence the legal challenge, in my opinion, is legitimate amog other evidence not mentioned int he article. [*reference: June 28th, In the New York Times Blog: RINGS 2008 Beijing Olympics and Paralympics, Karen Crouse]

FINA will meet in February with sales representatives and swim industry leaders to discuss a solution out of this speedsuit mess. I am sure they will "split the baby" and walk a fine line between the swimsuit business and national governing bodies.

Now that Nike has left the speedsuit market and Adidas is threatening, there is a potential to see the swimmers themselves hurt the most since fewer swimsuits means fewer sponsors and what sponsors are left will have no incentive to pay more.

FINA has a lot of political work to do in February: Adidas has to be pacified, Nike has to be addressed and I hope they send a rep. Then, national governing bodies have to be convinced to allow speedsuit makers a market to sell to or there will be less incentives, or even manufacturers left to sponsor both athletes and meets.


Anonymous said...

These swimsuit companies may have spent millions of dollars, but it wasn’t on swimsuit technology, it was acquiring as many high profile swimmers as the budget or their status would allow. None of the “supposed” developers (scientists and the like) have ever publically laid claim to their contribution, or published any of their findings to the new generation of suits. Wonder why…..??

As for companies like Nike and Adidas, they invest in real high profile athletes across many sport disciplines. For companies like Adidas and Nike, excluding Phelps, to them the other swimmers are not high profile. Those companies know this has nothing to do with technology, and they are pulling out of swimming because they are not going to get into a bidding war or spend money sponsoring athletes they don’t consider high profile.

Tony Austin said...

That's a logical argument but I do believe Swimsuit companies pay millions in R&D.

The CEO at Rocket Science told me that the material used to create their suit cost $70 a yard.Did they help create the materia?

TYR contracted out to a military contractor, CRESE, to create the Aquashift.