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Nike, Trek end relationship, future consumer offerings "uncertain"

Posted by on April 2nd, 2007 at 10:43 am

Nike’s $300 Lance 10//2 cycling shoe.

Earlier this morning, I reported that Nike (whose world headquarters are just a few miles from Portland) had “dropped” their entire line of cycling gear and clothing.

I just got an update on that story from Bob Applegate, Nike’s Communications Director for Oregon.

He clarified the situation and said,

“As of December 31, 2007 we have decided to not renew our relationship with Trek. The decision was mutual and we are looking at other options.”

When I asked Applegate if the end of the Trek relationship meant the end of consumer offerings, he said that fact was “still not certain” and that the future of Nike’s consumer cycling line was “under review.”

He added that Nike will continue to be involved in developing and producing gear for elite-level, Nike-sponsored cyclists (and therefore not all of their cycling-related employees would be let go, as I reported earlier).

Applegate said Nike Cycling product will be available through 2008.

In the end, it sounds to me like the Nike Cycling brand (as far as regular consumers are concerned) is over for now, and/or on hiatus until they find a new partner or decide to re-start the line themselves.

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UPDATE: (4/4/07) The Oregonian has the story on the front page of their Business Section today. Helen Jung writes,

“The pullback, first reported on local blog bikeportland.org, reflects the difficulty Nike has had making a name for itself among established cycling brands such as Sidi, Shimano and Castelli.”

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Comments
  • [...] Nike Dropping Cycling Products? (Read the Story Here) [...]

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  • Brian J April 2, 2007 at 11:12 am

    Nike dropping their “line” of cycling “gear”?

    Too bad. It was all pretty poor anyway– Nike seems to produce only two classed of stuff: Super-expensive one-off gear for their sponsored elite athletes and over-priced “street-fashion” junque for everyone else.

    I never could get over the idea of buying cycling gear from a company that also made golf gear.

    :^)

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  • Anonymous April 2, 2007 at 5:12 pm

    I know you want to be the first person to report things, but maybe look into stories a little bit more before you post them. Doesn’t look to good to publish rumors and speculation as news.

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  • Jonathan Maus April 2, 2007 at 5:15 pm

    Anonymous,
    thanks for your feedback. I don’t feel that I published rumors and speculation. I trusted my source 100%.

    Not having a lot of background information for a story (and not getting all the facts straight), and publishing straight-up rumors, are two different things.

    thanks.

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  • Fritz April 3, 2007 at 8:46 am

    I own some Nike cycling shoes that I bought way back in Nineteen eighty something laying around somewhere, I think.

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  • brian April 3, 2007 at 10:49 am

    I am sure that you have good sources, but my contacts at Nike completely disagree with your story. You can see the quote that Nike gave me on my website: http://www.theroadbike.com

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  • Jonathan Maus April 3, 2007 at 10:58 am

    Brian,

    The end of the the Nike/Trek relationship has been confirmed by several sources. First here, and then on BicycleRetailer.com.

    I think your source at Nike was maybe not in the loop.

    I don’t expect to cover this story further, but here is the final shakedown:

    –Nike and Trek decided mutually that they were headed in different directions and will not renew their licensing relationship (which ends 12/31/07).

    –Nike will continue to produce, develop, and market cycling gear only for their elite-level, sponsored athletes.

    –The future of Nike Cycling consumer products is up in the air.

    hope that clears things up.

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  • [...] via Bike Portland By Rocky Thompson [...]

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  • Hubert April 3, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    Nike, the Evil Empire, is once again only interested in the almighty dollar and what sells to the masses along with flexing whatever power makes them look good. Portland is a great cycling community, but the worldwide masses likely don’t pose enough profits for the money hungry giant. Follow the money.

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  • The sanity April 3, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    Hubert – they are a business. Should they make cycling clothes that aren’t popular as a charity endeavor? Yes, for businesses it’s about profit and if you’ve ever run a business and you have a line that doesn’t sell or make a profit, you discontinue it. It does not make them evil! And no, I don’t work for Nike, don’t really buy Nike, don’t care about Nike one way or another.

    Does it really cause any hardship for the Portland cycling community to no longer have Nike gear? If you really care about Portland, I doubt you were buying a hell of a lot of Nike anyway. (NOt because they are evil, but there are better ways to support the community.)

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  • John April 4, 2007 at 8:05 am

    This is the third time Nike has done this. Heck they made one off shoes for the LA Olympics then quit then came back in 88′ with various consumer products than quit again in the early 90′s. Unlike Adidas Nike only likes what is popular.I can remeber them spending 500K
    developing a Nordic Boot in the early 80′s only to drop it 2 years later…Their only claim to fame is that they havn’t abandoned Track & Field Yet…

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  • Thomas April 5, 2007 at 10:42 am

    There was a fanatic little group back in VT that made cycling shoes for me and my teammates since 1982. Designs went from wild (for the time) silver leather and blue swoosh to black on black when the shoes generated too much attention.

    It would be a real shame if Nike finally let all the air out of the tires…but I can see why the Nike Trek deal just didn’t work out. There is a constently swinging pendulum at Nike…”invest…invest…invest…cut …cut…cut…invest..etc..”and we might see the line come back…with a different ‘spin’. Personally…I hope so.

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  • Pedaleiro April 29, 2007 at 9:00 am

    Lance Armstrong…

    Propaganda da Nike com Lance Armstrong. Infelizmente a Nike anunciou o fim da parceria com a Trek e a sua linha esportiva voltada para o ciclismo está sob avaliação.

    via: Tredz Blog.
    ……

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  • Anonymous August 31, 2007 at 10:19 am

    Since no one else said it, I for one am glad that Nike is leaving the scene. Good riddance.

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  • Bike Snob on Nike « Mikey Wally August 27, 2008 at 12:52 am

    [...] for them. It’s like a Critical Mass of consumerism! Like many people, I just assumed that when Nike ended its relationship with the Great Trek Bicycle Making Company last year, they were leaving cycling altogether. And even though Nike said that Nike Cycling would [...]

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