SBD/1/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

NIKE/MICHIGAN DEBATE: SELLING OUT OR SMART INVESTMENT?

     Coverage of the multi-million Nike deal to outfit the Univ.
of Michigan has renewed since the football team debuted the Nike
swoosh on their jerseys.  Since the deal was announced last
October, UM's Athletic Dept said they have received only one
complaint.  Bruce Madej, spokesperson for UM's Athletic
Department:  "All I can say is it was a way to get all of our
sports under one umbrella."  But James Tobin writes that "a
grumble or two could be heard" when the team took the field last
week against UVA in the Pigskin Classic season opener (DETROIT
NEWS, 9/1).
     ONE ALUM'S OPINION:  In Portland, J.E. Vader writes, "Has
the University of Michigan sold its very soul to the dark forces
of the netherworld? And for too low a price?"  With the visible
Nike swooshes, the "players seemed like so much branded cattle."
Compared to the reported figures for tennis players like Andre
Agassi, the Michigan deal "looks like peanuts."  The deal
"bothers more than a few people," according to Vader, as UM
regent Laurence Deitch said the school was "letting a shoe
company piggyback on the 170 years of tradition to peddle some
shoes."  Deitch said he "was appalled" by the deal, calling it "a
step too far in commercialism."  Vader: "You can't begrudge the
people at Nike for being smart and wanting to make money," but
adds it hurts those "who cling to the illusion that universities
are for education. ... and then there's commercial ads right on
their bodies.  It's not just desecration.  It's just bad taste"
(J.E. Vader, Portland OREGONIAN, 8/31).
     DO IT FOR THE KIDS:  The marketing of street hockey by Nike
and other companies to urban youth is profiled by Robin Givhan of
the WASHINGTON POST.  New York marketing expert Marian Salzman
says to "make a product hip and desirable to a young market, it
helps to have black urban kids on your side," as they help many
trends "gain momentum."  Givhan writes that "in today's media-
saturated politicized climate, marketing a new sport to a
minority or financially strapped audience is a tremendous
balancing act.  Social conscience vs. bottom line" (WASHINGTON
POST, 9/1).
Return to top

Related Topics:

Nike

Video Powered By - Castfire CMS Powered By - Sitecore

Report a Bug