Is the Nike Elite Series Really the Answer for Nike?Avatar of Ben Perkins

Article by: Thomas Kenwright (for Soccer Reviews application)

With the World Cup in South Africa on the horizon, Nike were readying their new ground breaking elite series, seen by many to be the next step in the evolution of football boots. Wit boot enthusiasts predicting the new Adidas Adizero to take all the plaudits in the summer tournament, Nike countered this with a masterstroke of visual marketing, leaving the imprint of metallic mach purple and total orange in the mind of even the most casual fan as they watched instances of magic from Nike endorsers such as Miroslav Klose, Cristiano Ronaldo and Wesley Sneijder. However, It’s hard to determine whether the elite series has been a successful venture for Nike for a number of reasons, you only have to take into consideration why with most pros making the transition to the Elite, stars such as Raul Meireles and Fernando Torres refuse to change, staying in the tradition versions of the Tiempo and Laser respectively.

The first thing that stands out about an elite boot is the price tag, for most people £250 is far too much money to pay for a boot for roughly a season of wear, but yet the elite still covets a lot of intrigue, mainly due to the beautifully contrasting silhouette of black the carbon fibre sole plate with the colour of the upper as a player glides across a pitch. I feel as if the sales of the boot aren’t the major concern for Nike, with their elite series being made in Montebelluna, specifically to satisfy consumer demand, the American giants still make enough of a healthy profit on their other boots to mean that they can pursue the idea of the elite without it making or breaking their financial year. However you must ask if the elite series really is the answer in order for Nike to take control of the market? With Nike seemingly falling way behind Adidas, in terms of not only sales but innovation as well, I can’t really say that the elite series has done much to boost Nikes popularity, especially in the midst of the releases of genuine powerhouses such as the Adizero, Adipower and the Adipure. this is made especially even more embarrassing for Nike given that key endorses such as Nani and Dani Alves have made the switch to Adidas, perhaps subtly indicating to the public Adidas’s superiority at the current time in the football boot market.

I think what is needed is a dramatic overhaul by Nike, which I think is something they are addressing internally, how they address it in 2012 will be particularly interesting, whether it be a case of lowering the cost of the elite series, which would inflate sales but consequently wouldn’t address the issue of popularity amongst pros; or changing how they design a new boot, it is something that needs to be done. I personally think it should be more along the lines of the former point in most cases, the recent releases of the Tiempo IV and CTR II have proved that Nike can still make an innovative boot, however the lacklustre efforts which are plaguing the T90 and Superfly also make a case for the latter point. Nike are in no danger of falling into brand obscurity (hello mitre), but they can’t allow Adidas to continually be stealing a march on them like they have been recently, and with the addition of micoach imminent for Adidas, Nike needs to respond sooner or later and I believe they need to set the tone with the release of the new T90 Laser this autumn.

This is one of the first of many articles which will be published using submissions by you, the visitors. We’d like to hear what you think of each post and what you make of the writing style.

Avatar of Ben Perkins About Ben Perkins

Ben started the site, then Soccer Equipment Reviews, in 2008 with the help of his brother Derek. With initial modest goals, he never really expected the site to go far, but fast forward to today, and Soccer Reviews is the site to visit for anything football related. He has committed to the University of Kentucky and will be playing for their men's soccer team for the next several years. He plans to study Sports Administration and become a professional manager.

Comments

  1. remeber nike back when the vapor iv came out, it was way ahead of adidas

  2. Matt Homishak

    I dont think Nike is getting worse. They are still just as far ahead of Puma Umbro Lotto and other brands as they were, I believe that Adidas is just getting that much better. With the extremely light Adizero available in synthetic and leather, it gives players more options without sacrificing weight or price. Also the Sprint frame by adidas is, in my opinion, the best thing that is on the market right now. With the adipure 11pro and the Adipure (normal and SL) adidas is going to take over the world. Carbon Fiber is too stiff and expensive, and fly wire just isnt doing the trick. Nike needs to scrap the carbon fiber and create a boot with a light and flexible base. And they need to get some new damn color ways. Pink and black/yellow superflys are getting old. One thing i must say is that I am impressed with how fast Under Armour is advancing. The UA blur put them on the map. By mid 2012 they will have better boots than Nike. One thing i can say Nike does better than adidas is jerseys. Nike has great uniforms.

    • Woldstad

      I prefer adidas jerseys.

      • OnlyFootball

        I dislike adidas jerseys because the three stripes along the shoulders over-saturates the jersey with their branding. It also lends a sort of cookie-cutter feel to the design of adidas jerseys. If the logo on the right breast is good enough for Nike, why shouldn’t it be good enough for adidas (or Kappa and Puma, for that matter).

        If, however, one were to remove the three shoulder stripes from every adidas kit, I’d be hard-pressed to say which brand’s jerseys I like more.

  3. Drew

    From my sources I have been told Nike is discontinuing the carbon fiber bottom except on the superfly I don’t no if they are still going to have a “elite series” or not but carbon fiber is most likely getting discontinued.. My guess was maybe they use the white/clear bottom some pros have used with ctrs?

  4. sina

    cool article…….i myself used to be an extreme,as i call it, nike fan………but actually starting specificly from the the 2010 WC, i found nike not doin enough any more specially with the SFs…….and caught myself up in the adidas chanel……u know the thing i like ’bout adidas is that the elements they put on a shoe is worthy and responses good unlike stupid sense studs & flywire techs and also adidas gives u a quality boot cheaper than nike…..and nike is all ’bout the ads that make the fans go crazy…..i mean what’s with ppl buyin sf3s when they are the same as sf2s……..it’s only marketing…..anyway i see easily another year with adidas dominatin the market!!!!!!!

  5. Peter

    I know i’m probably part of the minority but I actually appreciate the extra quality that goes into the Nike higher end shoes; sure Adidas stuff is lighter and cheaper but it also feels cheaper because it is made cheaper and design wise i’m sorry but the newer stuff is made with no taste (except of course of the classic line of products but there is no real challenge there). Also with the exception to weight savings (at the expense of protection and comfort) all the “innovation” Adidas has done is to catch up with Nike. Who started the speed boot concept in the first place? and the control boot? the bright color trend? I think the major problem lies in Nike’s marketing which seems to confuse people more than anything and make their products seem even more overpriced. I hope Nike doesn’t follow Adidas footsteps in the way they make their products because I like to have a different choice; you know some of us still like Porsche 911s even though Nissan GTRs are faster and cheaper.

  6. ronnie

    new superflys an t90s better be good ice been waiting ages for some really nice nikes to come out
    an also whens the new adizeros cumin out soon i hope!!

  7. if i was a pro and was offered a contract to be supplied with free boots, i would take Nike. if i had to pay for them i would then consider Adidas.

  8. OnlyFootball

    Here’s what I’ll say about the Elites:
    -I don’t care for the carbon fiber soleplate. Speaking from a practical standpoint, its hardly any lighter than a standard TPU plate. It is, however, much more stiff, and much more likely to crack than TPU.
    -Aside from the Legend, the only difference between the upper of an Elite and the non-Elite version of a shoe is the aforementioned carbon fiber, and a lack of a heel counter. The Elite Maestri is allegedly more thin than the non-Elite.

    So there’s less material on the upper, which you would think would make a boot cheaper. But the carbon fiber–which I find to be a hindrance–jacks the price up another $200. Basically, you’re paying for the carbon fiber soleplate, so you’d better really, really like that carbon fiber soleplate.

  9. Trevor

    I think Nike needs to stop making their boots so gimmicky personally. Carbon fiber and flywire are good and all, but I think that they can have light and strong boots without those. They’d be cheaper too. All adidas has over Nike right now is the weight factor. So if Nike can figure that out they’ll be back on top. And prices too.

  10. look at were the elite series is now… shelved. maybe nike’s loosing more money putting expensive carbon fiber in each shoe that even the sales can’t catch up. may work more as a limited release though since their limiteds get gobbled up 100%. No losses there.
    Surf the web and look at the superflys floating around with less than the starting price.

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