Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Marketing of Boston (Not The Boston Market)

I’ll admit, I may have hated on Adidas last year a bit for their Boston Marathon line. So this year I’ve been closely watching them. First, they offer—for the first time ever—the “Boston Qualifier” line. Clearly an attempt to capture the market of runners who managed to qualify but were not lucky enough to get a spot in the 2011 race.

Now, it should be noted that during the first few days the BQer clothing was available, Adidas also offered a green 2011 BM running singlet as well as green running shorts (sorry ladies, but I believe they were the men’s shorts). Almost immediately Adidas pulled the BM clothing, leaving only the BQer line.

In case you didn’t know, the original BQer clothing had purple all up in it. Then Adidas, likely because of poor sales or consumer complaints about how crappy the colors were, changed the colors to make them more consistent with Boston’s blues and yellows.

Because Adidas pulled the pictures, I’ve done my best to give you an idea of what they looked like. And if Adidas has a problem with my crappy Word Art skills they can just send me the originals and I’d be happy to put those pictures up. Oh, and don’t think I didn’t try calling Adidas immediately to let them know I was interested in ordering the removed items they had changed overnight. And don’t think I didn’t spend a good hour on the phone with various ‘customer service’ representatives as I tried and tried to see what had happened—me playing the distraught customer the entire time—or to see if I could still order the old items.

All my efforts were for not. Sure, I never really intended to order the stuff, but I wanted to try and figure out what had happened. The best I could get was that the purple colored items were no longer available. I insisted, but some must still exist. If I could order one last night, they surely they exist? “No, sorry.” was all I got.

That said, some other changes are shown below (new on top, old below).

Then, a little over a week ago, Adidas decided to release the first run of official BM 2011 clothing. This includes the “Official Marathon Jacket.” As you can see, Adidas decided to "Go Green" with their clothing line.

Now, a more detailed discussion about the “official” jacket. Last year it looked like this.

This year it looks like this.

Basically, the exact same jacket with the exception of the new colors. Or so I thought. First, I noticed that there was something strange about the packaging of my jacket. Can you spot the mistake? Hint: Boston is all about the right numbers.

No, I’m not talking about the hefty price of $95 buckers. Answer: the tag for the jacket is from the 2010 product line. Excellent job on that one Adidas. Not only did your customer services associates stonewall me from getting the ‘extinct purple’ products, but they seemed to be a little confused as to what year this is. But back to the price. $95 is a lot of money. And I get it; a BM jacket carries some clout amongst fellow runners. But tell a non-runner you spent that kind of money on a running jacket and they will stare at you the way a deer stares into headlights approaching at 75mph—that is, awestruck and slightly unable to comprehend.

So, when I spend that kind of money, I at least want a quality jacket. Last year’s was of sufficient quality. But this year’s jacket is not only as expensive, but friggen cheap a$$ Adidas decided to omit the embroidery and simply screen-print the lettering/logos. WFT!!!

I swear to God (or FSM), please allow Nike or Asics or some other company to replace Adidas as the clothing sponsor for this race.* Please. Pleeeeeaaasssseeee! And I’m not the only one who feels this way, just take a look at the comments people have left under the “Official Jacket.” Not happy folks out there Adidas.

*Heck, I’d even give Under Armor a chance.

A small story of redemption for Adidas. My favorite shirt I purchased from last year’s race was a yellow t-shirt that simply had a distressed light blue unicorn head and “26.2” underneath the picture. One day the Redhead and I were shopping at Meijer and a little girl in a cart saw my shirt. She then excitedly uttered: “Mommy! Mommy! I just saw a unicorn!” The mother, busily trying to find the correct box of Rice-a-Roni, mindless uttered, “I’m sure you did Honey.” As we walked away the little girl protested, “I did! I did!” To no avail I’m sure.


GeorgiaSnail said...

I look forward to the day I have this dilemma...

Jordan said...

Looks like they realized their whoops because they took the Black and green mens jacket off the site.

Kandi said...

Even the link to the Boston appearal on their website says "2010". What gives? They clearly don't even care.

Anonymous said...

You know if I EVER QUALIFY I don't care what it looks like I'll sleep in it! LOL JK.. ok yeah I would care.

Sun Runner said...

What were we saying last year? "High-class problems"? Yeah. That's what you've got, my friend.

I'm almost (almost) glad I didn't requalify this year, as I think that shade of green is hideous and looks good on no one. Who's the marketing genius who came up with that? Yuck. I would have had a REALLY hard time bringing myself to buy one.

Also, are you sure you weren't wearing the Greatest T-Shirt In The History of the Universe in Meijer? It's easy to confuse dragons and unicorns, after all.

Morgan said...

LMAO at Sarah's last statement! Stupid dragon shirt!

Also you forgot to mention how you paraded around the house wearing last year's jacket berating the new one and then proceeded to hang it up for me to use as motivation. :P

I only wish I could've gotten some of your rants on camera so we could youtube them for your readers entertainment. Poor you, you qualified for Boston and all you got is this lousy jacket...