News Notes: Nike Scores Big With Fencing
The first gold medal for the United States proved to be especially golden for U.S. Olympic Team sponsor Nike.
Fencing gold medalist Mariel Zagunis worked with the apparel company to design the shoes that she wore to defeat fellow American Sada Jacobson. Nike took full advantage of it, inviting media to the company’s hospitality center in Beijing for interview availability with Zagunis.
While the Nike hospitality center will play host to similar media events throughout the Games, its primary purpose is to serve the athletes and national organizing committees that the company sponsors. On Sunday, it played host to 100 members of the Chinese track team and the entire German men’s basketball team.
“It’s a safe haven for them — a place to get away,” said spokesman Dean Stoyer.
Nike converted a field house in Beijing into a hospitality center. It laid flooring on top of basketball courts and soccer fields to build a two-room facility for guests. A cafeteria sits on the basketball court where guests can dine on food from an Italian caterer, the same one Nike used in Torino. There are three TVs in the room as well as a foosball and a pool table. It seats 125 people and serves two meals a day.
The other is more of a lounge. It features a 72-inch high-def television under a “Just Do It” sign. It also has six computer stations, a ping pong table and an air hockey table.