Nike pulls athletes from Super8

Nike has withdrawn three high-profile UK athletes from the inaugural Super8 athletics competition, following a sponsorship row.

Kelly Sotherton

Nike, which sponsors Kelly Sotherton (pictured), Hannah England and Greg Rutherford, were due to wear Nike branded clothing during the event. But Super8 vest only allow the event logo and team name.

The sports brand has retaliated by withdrawing the athletes from the competition which launched at Cardiff International Stadium yesterday (June 10).

It is hoped that the Super8 will mirror the success of cricket’s Twenty20 tournament and drive more fans to the sport.

A UK Athletics statement says: “We believe we can find a workable solution with all interested parties for the future of Super8.”

UK Athletics announced plans to create Super8, a new midweek athletics competition, featuring high-profile British athletes representing their home cities, in February.

Following the pilot event taking place at Cardiff, UK cities will be invited to bid for Super 8 franchises and the right to host events.

Over time it is hoping that the competition will grow to eight events, with each team hosting either an indoor or outdoor fixture.

Earlier this month Nike promoted Gino Fisanotti to head up marketing for the UK and Ireland.

He has stepped up from his current role of EMEA brand director and replaces Simon Pestridge, who was recently promoted to the job of global brand director.

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