After an athlete wins some big event, the star thanks the sponsors, even though the company – most of the time – has absolutely nothing to do with the achievement.
Today, Kara Goucher was within reach of becoming the first American woman in 24 years to win the Boston Marathon. If she did, you could bet thatNike would have celebrated her more than any of its other long distance runners it has supported over the years.
The difference here is that Nike would have deserved credit because Goucher likely wouldn’t have finished in third, as she did, without the Swoosh.
Goucher lives in Oregon because of Nike, which developed a program called Nike Oregon Project, an initiative the shoe and apparel giant developed to better American distance running.
No matter how great you are, it’s pretty hard to come in third in your first two marathons.
Nike, with the aid of marathon great Alberto Salazar, helped Goucher move quickly from middle-distance running to the marathon by building her ambitious training schedule.
So even though Goucher didn’t win and Nike likely won’t put an ad in USA Today tomorrow, I’d like to salute both of them today. Progress can still be rewarded even though Goucher didn't finish the day with the laurel wreath on her head.
Questions? Comments? SportsBiz@cnbc.com