I wrote that Nike appeared to be pulling out all the stops to make NXN the premier championship event, and that Foot Locker didn't have many options. I didn't write much about those options, however. The closest I came was this paragraph.
I don't expect Foot Locker to go away any time soon, and part of me hopes they get creative and put up a fight with Nike, but they'll be hard pressed to do so without a team element. I feel like they need to have all the top individuals to stay relevant, not half, not most, all of them. I don't know how they can do this...maybe delay their races by a week? They'll need to do something, especially with Nike pulling out all the stops to make NXN the premier high school cross country championship in the country.Shortly after publishing the article, it nagged at me that I didn't dive into this a little more. After all, Foot Locker has been a mainstay of high school cross country for 30 years. They still put on a great event, they still draw a higher percentage of the top individuals, and for the time being, they still crown the "individual national champion". So let's assume that Foot Locker is willing to make some bold moves. Let's assume that they don't like being bullied by big, bad Nike and that they aren't ready to go anywhere. Most importantly, let's assume there's room for two "national championships".
With all of those assumptions in place, what can Foot Locker do?
I answer this question in my latest article at Runner's Tribe. In fact, having given it a lot of thought, I think the solution is pretty simple and particularly elegant. It's primarily a positioning issue, and by making a couple small changes, they can reposition themselves relative to NXN and regain the upperhand. That doesn't mean Foot Locker will do it, of course, but that's a different issue. To read the article in its entirety, click here. And let me know what you think in the comments.