EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — Though frequently scrutinized the way any market leader is, Nike’s command over track and field has been tested over the past few years — if not in a pure dollar-for-dollar sense, then certainly in the way it is perceived by its most fervent followers.
Gender equity battles have led to the defection of several high-profile women runners. A sordid doping case involving Nike’s most high-profile coach continues to play out this summer at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Nike’s role in developing new boundary-pushing technology for long-distance running shoes has garnered its share of sideways glances.
All of it leads to a conversation about the company’s long-term strategy as the sport converges on its home in Eugene for Olympic trials.