SBD/1/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

NIKE MIRED IN MORE LABOR PAINS IN WAKE OF VIETNAM REPORT

          Thuyen Nguyen, founder of Vietnam Labor Watch, issued a
     12-page report on Thursday detailing labor conditions at
     Nike's plants in Vietnam, according to Jeff Manning of the
     Portland OREGONIAN.  USA TODAY was the first to report the
     details in Thursday's editions.  Nguyen: "Nike is not
     enforcing or monitoring very carefully.  They're just going
     through the motions."  Manning wrote although Nike execs
     "have constantly said the company's well-being depends on
     cheap overseas labor," Nguyen thinks Nike's policies "may be
     putting the company in harm's way."  Nguyen: "They're making
     a lot of money. I don't know what they're thinking about to
     risk this incredible franchise" (Portland OREGONIAN, 3/28). 
     Nguyen: "Nike has a good code of conduct.  If it wants to,
     the company could enforce that code" ("Business Tonight,"
     CNBC, 3/27).  Hsu Chin-yun, a factory manager at a Nike
     subcontractor in Vietnam who had been suspended last week
     following the release of the report, has been charged with
     abusing employees (USA TODAY, 4/1). 
          AH, JOHN, THIS IS WHY JOBS ARE LEAVING THE U.S.: The
     PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER'S Paul Davies questioned Nike
     sponsored coaches and programs in Indianapolis at the NCAA
     Final Four about the report and noted that most people
     interviewed "were either unaware of the report or did not
     care."  Idaho State AD Irv Cross: "I haven't really thought
     about it."  Temple Coach John Chaney: "Why are you going to
     pick Nike?  Every company does it. You should focus on the
     bigger problem of jobs leaving America."  More Chaney, in
     response to suggestions that Michael Jordan could influence
     Nike to change policies: "What the ... is Michael going to
     do?  Now you are going to pick on Michael.  Why should he
     stick his neck out and risk his endorsement deals?  You got
     a ... problem with Michael making money?  Michael should
     pick up every ... dollar possible.  If you want to go after
     someone, go after Bill Gates."  Asked by Davies, NBA VP
     Brian McIntyre said that it "was the responsibility of
     companies, not athletes to do the right thing."  McIntyre:
     "This is a Nike business issue" (PHILA. DAILY NEWS, 3/31).
          MORE REAX: In a N.Y. TIMES Op-Ed, Bob Herbert: "Rather
     than crack down on abusive conditions in factories, Nike has
     resorted to an international public relations campaign to
     give the appearance that it cares about workers"
     (Minneapolis STAR TRIBUNE/N.Y. TIMES, 3/31).  Nike Dir of
     Labor Practices Dusty Kidd: "Bring us information we can
     use, and we'll do our damndest to correct any situations
     that are wrong" (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 4/1).  ESPN's Charley
     Steiner added that Nike was "kicked right in its swoosh" by
     the "scathing report" ("SportsCenter," ESPN, 3/27). 
 
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