SBD/1/Sponsorships Advertising Marketing

NIKE, PART II: HEAVEN'S GATE GIVES COMPANY MORE INK

          The 39 victims of the Rancho Santa Fe mass suicide were
     all wearing brand new black Nike running shoes, a fact that
     was picked up in the weekend press.  A former Heaven's Gate
     cult member named Sawyer, on CBS' "60 Minutes," was asked by
     Lesley Stahl why the victims were wearing Nikes.  Sawyer:
     "It was just a fun kind of uniform ... something - something
     to go into the - to - it was kind of representative of
     moving into the new ... level, being fresh and clean" ("60
     Minutes," CBS, 3/30).  Nike execs were "puzzled" by the
     "numerous" media calls about sneakers worn by the victims,
     according to the N.Y. POST.  Nike spokesperson McClain
     Ramsey: "This is a tragedy - it's not about shoes or
     clothes, it's about a great American tragedy" (N.Y. POST,
     3/30).  In San Diego, Uri Berliner: "If this is publicity
     Nike doesn't relish, it was perhaps inevitable, given the
     wide swath the image-setting company cuts across the popular
     culture" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 3/29).  In Hartford,
     under the header "Suicides May Put Nike In Spotlight,"
     Matthew Kauffman noted, "Bizarre publicity can still affect
     a company that finds itself inadvertently in the news"
     (HARTFORD COURANT, 4/1).
          
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CBS, Nike, Viacom

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