The average track fan is not over analyzing what shoe athletes are racing in. The have ON singlets and are showing people ON is in the running market. Which is what they are paid to do. Selling track distance spikes is not a money maker anyway.
True that distance track spikes are not a money maker for most brands per say, but they do serve a greater purpose: credibility in the sport. Very few, if any, top tier athletes make more money for the brand than they cost to sponsor. But that’s not why brands sponsor athletes.
Investing in credibility in the space is recognized by the biggest brands in the world as money well spent. Credibility trumps all and it is what every global brand (not just running) strives for and spend fortunes on. They know if you have credibility, you’re printing money.
ON is actively forfeiting their credibility and that could very well cost them.